A well-knit and coordinated system of transport plays an important role in the sustained
      economic growth of country. The present transport system of the country comprises several
      modes of transport including rail, road, coastal shipping, air transport etc. Transport has recorded
      a substantial growth over the years both in spread of network and in output of the system. The
      Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways are responsible for the
      formation and implementation of policies and programmes for the development of various modes
      of transport save the railways and the civil aviation.
            The Railways in India provide the principal mode of transportation for freight and
      passengers. It brings together people from the farthest corners of the country and makes possible
      the conduct of business, sightseeing, pilgrimage and education. The Indian Railways have been a
      great integrating force during the last more than 164 years. It has bound the economic life of the
      country and helped in accelerating the development of industry and agriculture. From a very
      modest beginning in 1853, when the first train steamed off from Mumbai to Thane, a distance of
      34 kms, Indian Railways have grown into a vast network of 7,349 stations spread over a route
      length of 67,368 km with a fleet of 11,461 locomotives, 53,453 passenger service vehicles, 6,714
      other coaching vehicles and 2,77,987 wagons. The growth of Indian Railways in the 165 years of
      its existence is thus phenomenal. It has played a vital role in the economic industrial and social
      development of the country. The network runs multi-gauge operations extending over 67,368
      route kilometres.
            The rolling stock fleet of Indian Railways in services by March, 2017 comprised 39 steam,
      6,023 diesel and 5,399 electric locomotives. Currently, the Railways are in the process of
      inducting new designs of fuel-efficient locomotives of higher horse power, high-speed coaches
      and modern bogies for freight traffic. Modern signalling like panel inter-locking, route relay inter
      locking, centralized traffic control, automatic signaling and multi-aspect color light signaling are
      being progressively introduced. The Indian Railways have made impressive progress regarding
      indigenous production of rolling stock and variety of other equipment over the years and is now
      self-sufficient in most of the items.
            About 35.32 per cent of the route kilometre and 47.09 per cent of running track kilometre
      and 48.26 per cent of total track kilometre is electrified. The network is divided into 17 zones.
      Divisions are the basic operating units. The 17 zones and their respective headquarters are given
       Zonal Railways                                          Headquarters
       Central                                                 Mumbai
       Eastern                                                 Kolkata
       East Coast                                              Bhubaneshwar