The Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia and the second largest in the world. The first railway in the Indian subcontinent connected Bombay with Thane, a distance of around 21 miles. Mr. George Clark, the Chief Engineer of the Bombay Government, had the concept for a railway connecting Bombay to Thane, Kalyan, and the Thal and Bhore Ghats inclines during a visit to Bhandup in 1843.
On April 16, 1853, 14 railroad carriages carrying about 400 people left Bori Bunder at 3.30 p.m., "to the loud applause of a great many people and to the salute of 21 cannons." This was the start of the opening ceremony. On August 15, 1854, the first passenger train chugged out of Howrah station and headed 24 miles to Hooghly. This marked the commencement of rail travel on the eastern side of the subcontinent as the first segment of the East Indian Railway opened to the public.
In the southern region, it started on July 1, 1856, when the Madras Railway Company inaugurated the first line. The route covered 63.1 miles from Vyasarpadi Jeeva Nilayam (Veysarpandy) to Walajah Road (Arcot). On March 3, 1859, a section of track measuring 119 miles was built from Allahabad to Kanpur in the northern region. When it originally opened to traffic on October 19, 1875, it connected Hathras Road and Mathura Cantonment.
The current Railway Minister in India is Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw. He was appointed in July 2021. For the names of all other ministers who have occupied this position, check out the list below: