The Indian railway network is the largest in Asia and the fourth largest in the world and forms the main artery of the country’s inland transport.
It contributes to the economic growth and promotes national integration. The Indian railway transports over 110 lakh passengers and 8 lakh tonnes of goods every day.
Gauges of indian railways
The Indian Railways consist of three gauges:
1. Broad Gauge
2. Metre Gauge
3. Narrow Gauge
1. Broad Gauge:
In this there is a distance of 1.676 metres between the two rails. More than 44,776 kms length belongs to this. It links major cities.
2. Metre Gauge:
The distance between two rails is one metre. About 14,987 kms of the railways is metre gauge.
3. Narrow Gauge:
This is confined mainly to the hilly areas. About 3265 kms belong to this type e.g., Kalka-Simla, Siliguri to Darjeeling etc. The government recently is trying to convert the gauges so that travelling more convenient and less time consuming.
Advantages of Railways
1. Main mode of transportation for freight and passengers.
2. Has helped in developing tourism in India.
3. It has helped in the development of industry and agriculture.
Disadvantages of Railways
1. Thefts and damaging of railway property has led to great loss.
2. Most of the bridges were constructed long ago and maintenance is expensive and difficult.
3. They are of not much use in hilly areas.
4. Different gauges prove very inconvenient and time-consuming for passengers and goods.