Rail transport in India is one of the most common modes of
long-distance transport. Rail operations are largely run by a
state-owned company, Indian Railways. The rail network traverses the
length and width of the country, covering a total length of 63,140 km
(39,233 miles). It is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in
the world, transporting over 5 billion passengers and over 350
million tonnes of freight annually. Its operations cover twenty-five
states and three union territories and also link the neighbouring
countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Railways were introduced
to India in 1853, and by the time of India's independence in 1947 they
had grown to forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were
nationalised as one unit—Indian Railways—to form one of the largest
networks in the world. Locomotives manufactured at several places in
India are assigned codes identifying their gauge, kind of power and
type of operation. Colour signal lights are used as signals, but in
some remote areas of operation, the older semaphores and discs-based
signalling are still in use. Accommodation classes range from general
through first class AC. Trains have been classified according to speed
and area of operation. Many trains are officially identified by a
four-digit code, though many are commonly known by unique names also.
The ticketing system has been computerised to a large extent, and
there are reserved as well as unreserved categories of tickets.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
American Revolutionary War: The New Hampshire Militia led by John
Stark routed British and German troops under Friedrich Baum in the
Battle of Bennington.
Cavalry charged into a crowd, turning a public meeting in
Manchester, England into the Peterloo Massacre.
A group led by Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold near Dawson City,
Yukon, Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
Elvis Presley, "The King of Rock and Roll", was found dead on the
floor of his bathroom. Although it was officially ruled as a fatal
heart attack, many people have claimed to have seen Elvis alive since
Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed after takeoff in Detroit,
Michigan, USA, killing all of the crew and passengers except one.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
vehemence: An intense concentration, force or power.
Wikiquote of the day:
The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern
commander. -- T. E. Lawrence