The Great Indian Peninsular (GIP) Railway that was the predecessor of the Central Railways came into existence on the 16th of April, 1853. The first train of not just the GIP but also the Indian sub-continent ran between Mumbai and Thane, a stretch of 33 kms.
The Central Railways network covers a large part of Maharashtra and some parts of North Eastern Karnataka and Southern Madhya Pradesh. It contains 3905.47 track kilometers running in the following 5 divisions.
Divisions of Central Railways
The Mumbai division serves Greater Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Pune and Nasik districts of Maharashtra. A portion of the Mumbai suburban train system comes under this division. It also contains two of the oldest workshops of the Indian Railways situated in Parel and Matunga.
The Bhusaval division runs through a part of Northern Maharashtra and a small portion of Southwest Madhya Pradesh. It has 740 route kms on broad gauge (BG) and 244 kms on narrow gauge (NG).
The Pune division was formed on 10th January 1996 and covers the districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur in Maharashtra. This division contains 71 stations as on July 2013 and also contains 40 suburban services.
The association of the Railways with Nagpur started as long back as 1867 and the Nagpur division now contains 895.37 Route kms. It also has two major ghat sections in the Itarsi-Nagpur stretch.
The Solapur division serves the region of Southern Maharashtra as well as the Gulbarga district of Karnataka.
The Neral-Matheran narrow gauge line that connects Neral to the famous hill station of Matheran in the Western Ghats is a part of the Central Railway Network. The Deccan Queen that is world famous for providing a luxurious experience is a part of Central Railways as well.
Many other prestigious trains such as Punjab Mail, Gitanjali Express and Hussain Sagar Express run in this network. The Mumbai suburban system from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan, which bifurcates and goes up to Khasara and Khopoli, is a very important part of the Mumbai division of the Central Railways. The city of Nasik that is a place of religious as well as economic importance falls under the Bhusaval division of the Central Railways.
The Central Railway serves more than 4 lakh passengers every day though its extensive network of mail, express and passenger trains. Of this number, more than 3 lakh travel in the suburban networks of Mumbai and Pune.
Many other facilities such as Pay and Park, ATM facilities and STD PCO booths help to make the life of passengers easier. The Central Railway reservation can be done on Passenger Reservation Systems (PRS) including Unreserved Ticketing Systems (UTS) as well. There are also UTS-cum-PRS, computerized Passenger Reservation Systems and Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks at chosen locations.
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