The north central region of the country is vast and filled with rich culture and history. It is a place where many empires rose and fell. It is also home to the most populated state of India, Uttar Pradesh whose 200 million population is greater than that of many countries. This also makes this an extremely resource consuming and economically developing area. The railways have been the backbone of development for this region. They have been around since the mid-1800s and have built a foundation for growth in this region. But as widespread as it is, one governing railways zone was not sufficient, and the formerly Northern Railways were split, one of the new zones being the North Central Railways.
The North Central Railways in its current form came into existence on April 1st, 2003. It is headquartered at the Allahabad Railway Station and it comprises of three sub-divisions Allahabad, Jhansi and Agra division. It is one of the 4 zones to receive an upgrade to a GPS enabled “fog pilot assistance system” railway signalling device. This was a necessary upgrade to the archaic method of using firecrackers placed on tracks to alert train drivers. This system limited the drivers to go at very slow speeds and now with the advanced system they precisely know in advance about level crossing gate, the location of various signals and other approaching markers.
The sector covers the states of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Around 3100 kilometres of track runs through this region, with nearly 400 odd stations in the area. This is an important economic zone, as it forms a corridor for north-to-east trains (29 trains daily), north-to-south/west (37), east-to-southwest (25) and east-to-west trains (12). It also has a mixed track system, with the majority being the broad gauge track. In terms of revenue, since the area is a highly populated one, it is no wonder this region rakes in nearly 1.3 billion dollars annually. They also ferry over 200 million passengers annually.
The NCR as it is referred to as has a significant workforce, with over 70000 employees. It also has two workshops, the Wagon Repair Workshop in Jhansi and the Spring Karkhana in Gwalior. The workshop in Jhansi was one of the first in the country and was established in 1895. This sector also plans to install a total of 1.5MW of solar rooftop project in the Jhansi junction railway station. This comes under the implementation of the National Solar Mission and has contracted Vivaan Solar to provide the installations. The company also plans to install solar panels on service buildings and production sheds in the complex.
Since this region is a busy one, it can be hard to find a seat on a train here. One should avoid late bookings and take full advantage of the IRCTC train enquiry facility. It is available on IR’s website and various other websites as well. This can help avoid unexpected delays, squabbles and overpaying for a seat in a train. There are many other features to help passengers have a full and enjoyable experience.