Northern Railway Zone (India)

Northern Railway Zone (India)
Northern Railway
System map
1-Northern Railway
Dates of operation 1952–
Track gauge Mixed
Headquarters New Delhi Railway Station

The Northern Railways is one of the 16 zones and the northernmost zone of the Indian Railways. Its headquarters is in Delhi at New Delhi Railway Station.

Northern Railways is one of nine old zones of Indian Railways and also the biggest in terms of network having 6807 kilometre route.[1] It covers the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and the Union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.

The railway zone was created on 14 April 1952 by merging Jodhpur Railway, Bikaner Railway, Eastern Punjab Railway and three divisions of the East Indian Railway north-west of Mughalsarai (Uttar Pradesh). It includes the first passenger railway line in North India, which opened from Allahabad and Kanpur on March 3, 1859.[2] The Zonal Headquarters Office of Northern Railways is at Baroda House, New Delhi, and divisional headquarters are located at Ambala (Haryana), Delhi, Firozpur (Punjab), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh).



The first passenger railway line in North India opened from Allahabad to Kanpur on March 3, 1859. This was followed in 1889, by the Delhi - Ambala - Kalka line. Northern Railways previously consisted of eight divisional zones: Allahabad, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Delhi, Moradabad, Ferozpur, Ambala, and Lucknow, spanning most of North India. With the re-organisation of zones by the Indian Railways, Northern Railway zone came to its present form on 14 April 1952 and it now consists of five divisional zones.


On February 19, 1986, Northern Railways was the first zone to introduce the computerized passenger reservation system and was the first zone to do so. To facilitate the Unreserved travellers to also plan their journey ahead, Northern Railway introduced the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) whereby the unreserved rail passenger can purchase an unreserved ticket 3 days in advance from the current booking counters.

The first diesel and electric locomotive simulators in India at the Tughlaqabad and Kanpur locomotive sheds were introduced by Northern Railways. These help upgrading the skills of the working and new drivers, providing them training for high speed train operation. All workshops, Diesel sheds and Air brake freight depts. are ISO 9000 certified. Diesel shed, Tughlaqabad has the distinction of being the first diesel shed to get ISO 14000 certification on Indian Railway.

There are eight workshops operated by Northern Railways

Workshop Location State
Locomotive Workshop Charbagh Railway Station, Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
Carriage & Wagon Workshop[3] Alambagh, Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
Carriage & Wagon Workshop Jagadhari Railway Station, Yamunanagar Haryana
Carriage & Wagon Workshop Kalka Haryana
Bridge Workshop Jalandhar Cantonment Punjab
Bridge Workshop Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
Engineering workshop Jalandhar Punjab
Signal & Telecom Workshop Ghaziabad Uttar Pradesh

Zonal Railway Training Institute (ZRTI) at Chandausi, Moradabad UP is the oldest (and North India's only) Railway Training Institute, where group C railway employees like Driver, Guard, Ticket Checker, Station Master, Traffic Inspector, Commercial Inspector, JE (signal & Telecom) etc. are trained for initial, promotional and refresher courses. ZRTI is an ISO 9001 Institute. Applicants pass All India Railway Examinations to get admission into the institute. ZRTI is headed by a senior Civil Services Officer.[4]


Several facilities are provided for the satisfaction of customers such as Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRS), Electronic Display Systems at stations, Recorded Coach Guidance Display System, Reservation Availability Position Information Display (RAPID), Self Dial Telephone Reservation Enquiry Booths, Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) and Money Changing Facilities at Stations.


Northern Railways implemented the Route Relay Interlocked system (RRI) at New Delhi Railway Station which is a modern signaling system for enhancing efficiency and safety in the operations. This Route Relay Interlocked system at New Delhi is one of the world's largest route relay interlocking system certified by the Guinness Book of Records. Northern Railway is equipped with 40 Route Relay Interlocking systems including the system at Delhi Main.

Delhi Suburban Railway services is a commuter rail service operated by Northern Railway. It covers the city state of Delhi, along with the adjoining districts of Faridabad, Ghaziabad and other adjoining places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. These services are mostly run using EMU and MEMU rakes. In 2009 Ladies Special trains were introduced between New Delhi and Palwal. Two more ladies special trains will be connecting from the city to Ghaziabad and Panipat.

Starting with a part of Firozpur division of the Northern Railway zone, the line has been under construction since 1983; the Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link (JUSBRL) of the Kashmir Railway is under construction in perhaps the most difficult terrain on the Indian subcontinent. The Northern Railway reached another landmark achievement by extending rail services in the Kashmir Valley on October 28, 2009 by commencing rail services between Anantnag and Qazigund of the Qazigund-Baramula rail project.[5] [[[Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel]], the 10.96 Km long railway tunnel, passes through the Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a part of its Udhampur - Srinagar - Baramulla rail link project, opened in October 2011, India's longest and Asia's second longest railway tunnel and reduced the distance between Quazigund and Banihal to only 11 km .[6]

Notable Trains

Some of the important trains connecting Delhi with other cities of India are

Luxury Trains

Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Palace on Wheels, Mahaparinirvana Express

Passenger Trains

Himsagar Express, New Delhi - Jabalpur Express, Prayagraj Express, Kashi Vishwanath Express,Bareilly-New Delhi Intercity Express

See also

  • Anand Vihar Railway Terminal


External links

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