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Southern Railways: A different world

When we are discussing India, one thought that pops up is the sheer diversity and the intermingling of a multitude of cultures. This stark contrast is most visible when one notices the striking differences in culture, language and lifestyle. This huge distinction makes it a hard task to bridge these two cultures and the one link which everyone in the country can share is the Railways. 

The Indian Railways is one of the largest public transport networks in the world and carries over 8 billion passengers annually; while employing over 1.3 million people. This is why one can always relate to travelling by rail and what it means to them, regardless of where they are from.

Controlling such a vast country’s railway network through a singular organization would be disastrous. In the post-independence era of the 1950s, the government decided to divide the IR into 9 different regions for better control and smoother operation of the railways. These zones would function autonomously yet report to the IR, it would also have further sub-divisions and regional manager for easy working.  During the 2000s, the 9 regions were further split into 8 more regions, bringing it to a total of 17 railway zones in India.
   
South India and its railway network
The Southern Railways was one of the first 9 zones to be created. It was established on 14th April 1951, when the IR merged three state-owned railways, namely the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway Company and the Mysore State Railway to form a single railway zone. Its origins, however, can be dated back to the times of the British rule, specifically in 1853 when the Great Southern India Railway Company was founded. It was the first zone to be formed, as the geographic and economic factors in this region facilitated easy integration of railway tracks. This relatively quick and straightforward amalgamation led to a fast streamlining and organizing the working pattern of the Southern Railway. These can be attributed to the fact that South Indians are an honest and hardworking people, and readily accept the terms and conditions set forth by the IR, when they first established the region.

The southern railway is headquartered in Chennai Central and is one of the most important zones of the IR.The Southern Railways consists of six divisions namely; Chennai, Salem, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapalli and Madurai. It covers the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Each year an estimated 300 million people travel via Southern Railways every year. The special feature that separates SR from other zones is the fact that its revenue is derived from passengertraffic and not from carrying freight.

South India is filled with a myriad of scenery and colourful places, the backwaters of Kerala, the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu, and the Western Ghats are some of the places renowned for their beauty and scenery.  One can get on right away and proceed to train ticket booking and experience the culture and hospitality of the region.

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