Railway zones in India

Indian Railway organisational structure

Indian Railways is a department owned and controlled by the Government of India, via the Ministry of Railways. As of February 2016, the Railway Ministry is headed by Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, the Union Minister for Railways and assisted by two ministers of State for Railways. Indian Railways is administered by the Railway Board, which has a financial commissioner, five members and a chairman.

Also Read: Indian Railway History

Railway zones

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 16 in 2003. Each zonal railway is made up of a certain number of divisions, each having a divisional headquarters. There are a total of sixty-seven divisions.

The Kolkata Metro is owned and operated by Indian Railways, but is not a part of any of the zones. It is administratively considered to have the status of a zonal railway.
Also Read: Southern Railway History

Each of the sixteen zones, as well as the Kolkata Metro, is headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. The zones are further divided into divisions under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM). The divisional officers of engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunication, accounts, personnel, operating, commercial and safety branches report to the respective Divisional Manager and are in charge of operation and maintenance of assets. Further down the hierarchy tree are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations' administration.


Sl. NoName Abbr.Date Established Headquarters Divisions
1. Central CR November 5, 1951 Mumbai Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur
2.East CentralECROctober 1, 2002HajipurDanapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur
3.East CoastECoRApril 1, 2003BhubaneswarKhurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam
4.EasternERApril, 1952KolkataHowrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
5.North CentralNCRApril 1, 2003AllahabadAllahabad, Agra, Jhansi
6.North EasternNER1952GorakhpurIzzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi
7.North WesternNWROctober 1, 2002JaipurJaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
8.Northeast FrontierNFR1958GuwahatiAlipurduar, Katihar, Lumding, Rangia, Tinsukia
9.NorthernNRApril 14, 1952DelhiDelhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad
10.South CentralSCROctober 2, 1966SecunderabadSecunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada
11.South East CentralSECRApril 1, 2003Bilaspur, CGBilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur
12.South EasternSER1955KolkataAdra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
13.South WesternSWRApril 1, 2003HubliHubli, Bangalore, Mysore
14.SouthernSRApril 14, 1951ChennaiChennai, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Tiruchchirapalli, Thiruvanathapuram
15.West CentralWCRApril 1, 2003JabalpurJabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
16.WesternWRNovember 5, 1951MumbaiMumbai Central, Vadodara, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 16 in 2003. Each zonal railway is made up of a certain number of divisions, each having a divisional headquarters. There are a total of sixty-seven divisions.

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