The Indian Railway has 17 zones out of which the Central Zone is one of the largest ones with its headquarter located in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai. This was previously known as Victoria Terminus. This section includes the first passenger railway line in the country. This was a line connecting the well known cities of Mumbai and Thane on the 16th of April in the year 1853. The Central Railway Zone was formed on the 5th of November in the year 1951 by putting together certain government-owned railway sectors which include the Scindia State Railway of Gwalior, Wardha Coal State Railway, Nizam State Railway, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and Dholpur Railways.
The Central Railway covers a major part of the state of Maharashtra and a minor part of North-Eastern Karnataka and Southern section of Madhya Pradesh. Formerly, this section included huge parts of southern Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This is how this section became the largest one in the country but later with the reorganization of the Indian Railways, these parts were included in the newly built West Central Railway Zone in the April of the year 2003. Before this, the central zone was the largest in terms of its staff,track mileage and area. There are five divisions of the Central Railway. These are located in Pune, Bhusawal, Solapur, Mumbai and Nagpur.
The length of the total route of this zone is approximately 3905 kms. More than four lakh passengers are carried each day by this zone via the Express, Mail and Passenger trains. This route links the states of South Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and North-Eastern Karnataka through 477 stations in all its five divisions. Some well known trains that one can locate in this part of the Indian Railway are Deccan Queen connects the cities of Pune and Mumbai, Amravati Superfast Express connects cities Mumbai and Amravati, Hussainsagar Express which connects Mumbai and Hyderabad and Mahalaxmi Express that connects cities Mumbai and Kolhapur. Other than these, there are the Vidarbha Express and Pushpak Express which are also quite popular ones. The former connects Mumbai with Gondia while the latter runs from Mumbai to Lucknow.
The narrow gauged Matheran line was constructed in 1907 and connects Neral to the hill station of Matheran. The Matheran route is well known for its curves and this journey is a quite pleasurable one. Neral is again linked to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai by suburban electric trains. Central Railway is renowned for its vast area and its tremendously large track. Before some parts were given to the West Central Zone, this area was even more vast. Also, the Matheran Line is a popular part of the Central Railway Zone.
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The Indian Railway’s Central Zone