Indian Railways - System and Network A network covering 63, 140 route kms (as on March 31, 2002), the Indian Railways traverse the length and breadth of the country. Even though the railways have been divided into zones for better management and functionality, theRailwayreservations or the process for booking train tickets is centrally computerised. Operating 14,444 trains daily, the IRCTC or Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited, ensures that train schedule and train timings remain prompt. In effect, Indian Railways is the largest railway system in the world to be functioning under a single management. The most cost efficient mode of transport, Indian Railways enjoy preference over other public transport systems. Used extensively for passenger and freight transfer, Indian Railways proves itself the forerunner in the transport sector as the most affordable, convenient and well connected network. With thousands of railway stations across the country, superior safety standards, lower environmental hazard and relatively low train fare, Indian Railways is the first choice for transfer goods and commodities. While the Indian Railway booking system has always been well organised, one immensely crucial step has been the launch of the IRCTC website, making all processes related to Indian Railways a breeze. Besides allowing online booking of rail ticket (s), it offers everything from railway map to railway ticket fare to timetable of train (s). A complete railway enquiry system is in place, with a click of the mouse allowing one to access / check the Indian Railways timetable, railway ticket availability and booking for any sector besides complete online train ticket reservations. Visitors to the website can use it not only for railway ticket reservation / booking but also to find out ticket availability and ticket confirmation orPNR statusfor any ticket on any train within the Indian Railways network. With various seating arrangements like AC 1 tier, AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, AC Chair Car, Sleeper and General in most long distance trains and another range of seat availability in the metro trains within urban areas, the Indian Railways offers a plethora of choices. Travellers can take their pick and enjoy the convenience and affordability of this mode of transport. The list of major Indian Railway Zones is as follows: Central Indian Railways: This is the oldest of Indian railway zones and one of the largest of the 16 zones formed by Indian railways. Eastern Indian Railways: The Eastern Railway (ER) zone is one of the important Indian Railway zones. With its headquarters in Kolkata, the Eastern Zone is divided further into four divisions namely Mald, Howrah, Asansol and Sealdah for better working. Northern Indian Railways: It is one of the nine older zones of Indian Railways. New Delhi, the national capital of India serves as headquarters of this Indian Railway Zone. Southern Indian Railways: This is the first zone formed after India got liberated from British Rule. Southern Indian Railway Zone was established on April 14, 1951 by combination of always of three states. Western Indian Railways: This Indian railways zone is amongst the most hustling and lively rail networks of the country. The headquarters of Western Indian Railway is situated in Mumbai city. Below are the popular and demanded trains from Indian Railways: Rajdhani and Duronto Trains: Duronto Express is a non-stop point to point rail service. Such kind of train service has been introduced for the second time in Indian Railways history. Shatabdi Trains: Shatabdi Express a series of high speed trains connects various important cities of the country. There are several tourist places as well as business centres which passengers can reach easily via Shatabdi Express trains. Janshatabdi Trains : Janshatabdi Express Trains by Indian Railways are a series of high speed trains. The fast moving trains connects various important cities of the country. Garibrath and Yuva Trains : Garib Rath Express Train was started to offer completely AC (air conditioned) rail travel to all those travellers who can't afford costly fares of fully AC classy and posh trains like Shatabadi and Rajdhani Express.