Indian Railways (reporting mark IR) is an Indian state-owned enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. It is one of the world's largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km (71,000 mi) of track over a route of 65,000 km (40,000 mi) and 7,500 stations. As of December 2012, it transported over 25 million passengers daily (over 9 billion on an annual basis). In 2011, IR carried over 8,900 million passengers annually or more than 24 million passengers daily (roughly half of which were suburban passengers) and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. In 2011–2012 Indian Railways had revenues of 1,119,848.9 million (US$19 billion) which consists of 696,759.7 million (US$12 billion) from freight and 286,455.2 million (US$4.9 billion) from passengers tickets.
Railways were first introduced to India in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities at several places in India and are assigned codes identifying their gauge, kind of power and type of operation. Its operations cover twenty four states and three union territories and also provides limited international services to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Indian Railways is the world's ninth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees. As for rolling stock, IR holds over 239,281 Freight Wagons, 59,713 Passenger Coaches and 9,549 Locomotives (43 steam, 5,197 diesel and 4,309 electric locomotives). The trains have a 5 digit numbering system as the Indian Railways runs about 10,000 trains daily. As of 31 March 2013, 23,541 km (14,628 mi) (36%) of the total 65,000 km (40,000 mi) km route length was electrified.Since 1960, almost all electrified sections on IR use 25,000 Volt AC traction through overhead catenary delivery.
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