Amongst the different modes of transport, railways have their greatest utilization in the tranport of large volumes of heavy and bulk commodities and passengers over long distances with safety, comfort and convenience
Railways were first introduced to Idia in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. A British engineer, Robert Maitland Brereton, was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. The Allahabad-Jabalpur brach line of the East Indian Railway had been opened in June 1867. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world.
Indian Railways is the world's ninth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees. As for rolling stocks, IR hold over 239,281 Freight Wagons, 59,713 Passenger Coaches and 9,549 Locomotives (43 steam, 5,197 diesel and 4,309 electric locomotives). As of 31 March 2013, 23,541 km (14,628 mi) (36%) of the total 65000 km (40000 mi) km route length was electrified. Since 1960, almost electrified sections on IR use 25000 Volt AC traction through catenary delivery.
Railway engineering is the branch of civil engineering which deals with the design, constructions and maintenaince of the railway tracks for safe and efficient movements of trains.
The importance of railway are it is economical mode of conveyance, preferable mode from airplane for tourists, safe land transport system compared to other forms of transport, and moves military goods of a country.