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West Central Railway

West Central Railway Representative Of Modernisation And Efficient Rail Transport


Newly formed West Central Railway was commissioned on April 1, 2003, from the merger of Jabalpur and Bhopal divisions of the erstwhile Central Railway and the Kota division of erstwhile Western Railway under the gazette notification on 4th of July 2002 by the Ministry of Railways, Govt of India. This zone caters to the states of Northern Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Southern Uttar Pradesh, and North-West Rajasthan.

Inception and constituents

Mumbai Howrah route in this part of the West Central Railway forms an important part of the golden Quadrilateral of Indian Railways.

  • In total, this zone covers a total of 39 districts with a total route km of 2911 kms of which 1328 kms are having electrification.
  • A total of 376 mail/ express trains 96 passenger trains are available in this line apart from 8 pairs of Rajdhani and Satabdi Express and 2 pairs of Jan Satabdi trains.
  • Approximately 109 million passengers commute through this Railway zone every year.
  • Total number of employees in both the Officer and Group C and D categories is about 58730 on the Railway’s payroll.
  • West Central Railway has its headquarters in Bhopal, while the three divisions included under it are Japalpur, Bhopal and Kota.
  • Freight carriage is mostly related to the materials like cement, bauxite, limestone, petroleum products, dolomite fertilisers, and some other important business products.

Special significance

  • West Central Railway has a special significance in the matter of going on tourism as this region of the country has plenty of sightseeing places of importance.
  • National reserves like Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh, Shivpur, etc are places where people can find a large variety of animals and birds.
  • Panchmarhi hill is one of the hill stations covered by this Railway zone. Historical monuments are found in Sanchi, Bhimbetka, and khajuraho.
  • Many important temples and religious places are found in the region also. Kota and Bundi forts and the marble rocks near Jabalpur are few other attractions.

Special trains

For the summer vacations, a large number of trains are necessary to be introduced in order to prevent the heavy rush. Even during the festival seasons, such as Holi, Diwali, Dusshera and the local festivals of the states covered by the Railway zone are provided with suitable special trains. Some of the local summer special trains are Mumbai CST Jabalpur SF special, Jabalpur Mumbai CST GaribRath Special, Kota Nizamuddin Daily SF special, Bhopal Pratapgarh Express, etc.


Jabalpur division

The headquarters of this division is in Jabalpur which also is the headquarters of the West Central Railway. Britishers had constructed about 10 different stations in the town of Jabalpur, to manage the heavy traffic. It is, in fact the second busiest station in the State of Madhya Pradesh. This Railway line is of the broad gauge type and also has the narrow gauge line which starts from the Jabalpur junction. This station lies in the Mumbai –Howrah route. Almost all the states and major cities in India have connectivity to this division.

Bhopal division

Bhopal division is the largest of the divisions of the West Central Railway with one large Railway station of Bhopal Junction, which is the main station while there are other 6 smaller stations. Bhopal division is located in the Delhi Chennai, and Jhansi Itarsi Railway track, from where many important trains of the country are seen travelling.

Special features of the divisions

  • One of the specialities of the Bhopal division is that the fastest train in India, the Bhopal Shatabdi Express and the country’s fastest mail express train and the first ISO certified Train Shaan – E – Bhopal Express, travel in the Bhopal division of the West Central Railway.
  • West Central Railway’s first Double Decker Train, the Bhopal Indore AC Double Decker Intercity Express has been started and included in this particular division of the West Central Railway.

Railway recruitment board of West Central Railway

  • RRB of West Central Railway is located at Bhopal. The jurisdiction of this RRB Bhopal is in the divisions of Bhopal and Jabalpur under West Central Railway while it also covers the western Railway’s Ratlam division and south east central Railway’s headquarters and the Raipur and Bilaspur divisions. The kota division of the West Central Railway is having its RRB under that of Ajmer.
  • The RRB Bhopal was established in Bhopal in 1982, but the name of Railway Recruitment Board was finalised in 1985. This Board determines the recruitment of technical and non technical categories in Group C posts such as the para medical staff in the divisions under it.

Rich in minerals and having plenty of natural sightseeing places have made the train traffic in West Central Railway come up in demand. It has been a relatively new inductee in the list of zones of Indian Railway, but the traffic is a testimony to the fact that such a division was utterly necessary.

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