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Northern Railway

Catering To The Large Population And Economical Development Through Northern Railway

Catering to the north of India is a well connected network of trains and stations which make the Northern Railway. Northern Railway is one of the 16 zones of Indian Railway, which is present towards the northern most area of the country and is headquartered at New Delhi. It is among the 9 initial zones that were demarcated. Besides, it is also the biggest in the country with route kms of 6807, catering to a number of states in the north.


In north India, the first Railway train travelled between Allahabad and Kanpur in 1859 and in 1889 another line of Delhi-Ambala-Kalka was inaugurated. In the olden days, Northern Railway consisted of about 8 divisions which spread almost all of the north India. But after reorganisation in 1952, there were 5 divisions in this zone.


Northern Railways consist of 5 zones of Ferozpur, Ambala, Moradabad, Delhi, and Lucknow. The entire division is spread across the states of Delhi and Chandigarh, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab. This network of Northern Railway plies over a number of varying landscapes such as the plains of the Ganges, mountainous regions of the Shivalik range, and the lush Tarai Region.

Economic contribution

Primary goods that are carried by the Northern Railway are the raw materials and finished goods of steel and iron ore, cement, food grains, fertilizers, etc. Cement Plants mostly in Gujarat, Ambala, Thermal Power Plants in Roopnagar, Bhatinda, Indian Oil Company, Refinery Plants, BHEL, sugar mills, HAL, Asbestos, and cycle industries are some of the important industries catered to by the Northern Railways.

Workshops which are found in the Northern Railway, related to trains and locomotives are in plenty in this zone, such as in Alambagh, Jagadhari, Jalandhar Cantt, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, etc. The Signalling and Telecommunication System has been modernised with state of art optic fibres and Route Relay Interlocking system, which is also the largest in the world.


  • Ambala – Ambala Division was created in the year 1987 with services to 5 northern states, with capital cities of three states and Chandigarh included under this, thereby making it a high traffic zone. In this division, there are about 129 stations, and track kms of 2035. The terrain of this division is hilly, thereby having many tunnels, all of which are in the Kalka Shimla line. This division has the daily passenger traffic of about 1.78 lakhs. Most of the industrial goods and raw and finished materials of the large scale industries are obtained through the trains running in this division. Computerised reservation systems, model stations and such amenities for the passengers can be found in plenty in this division, where the total staffs on roll is at 16,510.
  • Included in this Ambala division is the famous Kalka Shimla Railway, which has been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was built in 1903. The train charts a course through picturesque landscape of Shimla and the Himalayan ranges, and several important destinations between Kalka and Shimla.
  • Firozpur division goes back to the day from where the Indian Railways started. In 1862, the first Railway track was opened from Amritsar to Atari. Route kms for this line is about 1440 kms, and has 242 stations. Plenty of industrial towns are included under this division as well as this division caters to a variety of pilgrimage and tourist centres. It is the Firozpur division which has the credit of being the largest food grain loading division in the Indian Railways. Also, coal, iron, steel, cement, fertilizer and petroleum products are transported in large quantities. 190 passenger trains and 126 mail/ express trains are running in the network and about 3.44 lakhs passengers are travelling daily on the different trains on this route.
  • Moradabad division is having its headquarters in Moradabad city which was founded by Mughal Prince Murad and is presently well known for the brass works. The division caters to about 26 districts in the states of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh, with a total route kms of 1402 and has about 107 mail/ express trains and 53 pairs of passenger trains on a daily basis. In total there are about 204 stations and 2.72 lakhs passengers that use the services of the Moradabad division. Because of the tough riverine belt, there are about 1974 bridges. Many pilgrimage centres are found located in different places distributed in this division. About 19141 employees are currently working on roll in this division.
  • Delhi division is the oldest Railway divisions in the country. This division of Northern Railway majorly connects the different other zones of the country with the northern region of India. The total track kms is about 2874 and the zone has about 582 mail/ express and passenger trains. Most of these trains connect the city of New Delhi with the rest of the country. Plenty of historical places are also found in this network of Railways, as well as some military bases.
  • Lucknow division was formerly the part of the Oudh Rohilkhand Railway and then was transferred to East India Railway in 1925 up to 1952. The division is mostly serving the state of Uttar Pradesh, and has a route length of 1460 kms.

Railway Recruitment Board

Railway Recruitment Board of Chandigarh is responsible for looking after the Northern Railway recruitment and it was established in 1983. The formulation of guidelines and execution of these orders is something that is under the responsibility of the RRB Chandigarh. The jurisdictions of the Chandigarh RRB presently is over Delhi, Ambala, and headquarter office of Northern Railway, the Chief Medical Director office of Northern Railway, Diesel Loco Modernising Work in Patiala, General store and printing press in Shakurbasti, Jagadhari and Kalka Workshops.

Special trains

  • To allow the travellers to move from one station to another in the country, in the rush seasons such as summer vacations, or during festivals like Holi, Dusshera, New Year, etc, the Northern Railway introduces special trains between important stations in the zone. These may be weekly trains, or trains running once in two weeks or even daily special trains which belongs to passenger or super fast category. some of them are Ratnagarh Sardarshahar special trains, Dibrugarh Guwahati Rajdhani Express, Dibrugarh Town to Guwahati Rajdhani special, Shimla Kalka holiday special, Delhi Darbhanga special, Delhi Jn Panipat Daily Special, Delhi Udhampur triweekly SF special, Ghaziabad New Delhi Ladies Special, and many more totally about 37 special trains.
  • Palace on Wheels, Rajdhani express and Shatabdi express are found to be part of this Railway zone. Palace on Wheels is a luxury train that is passing through many historical sites of importance. This train was introduced in the state of Rajasthan and in August 2009, it was refurbished and renovated to give a new look which is presently ranked as the 4th best luxury train in the world. The concept of this train has been derived from the royal background of the kings and maharajas of the erstwhile kingdoms of the Rajputana, Gujarat, Nizam of Hyderabad and the viceroy of British India. In its 8 day journey, the train starts from New Delhi and travels around Rajasthan covering many historical cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur, etc.

Northern Railway is one of the largest train networks in the country, with adequate facilities and modernisation done in order to cater to the huge population in the north. It also provides benefits to the industries which are established in the north and has plenty of trains running between important stations.

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