Northern Railway.... In pursuit of excellence
" After all, what other experiences do we have to compare with travel as opportunities to expand our horizons (geographically, culturally, emotionally, intellectually) to encounter people, cultures and places so different from ourselves?" This is what Mick smith and Rosaleen Duffy conclude in their analyses of Contemporary Geographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobility. The efficacy of travel can never be over-stated and undertaking travel in the current times is increasingly becoming effortless thanks to the commitment and Zeal on the part of Railways, owing to their improved and widespread network.
Northern Railway, the Jewel Set in the Crown of Indian Railways, has embarked on the mission to vanquish distances and create its own metaphor of existence. Formally established in the year 1952, it remains the largest zone in terms of route Kilometers, even after the re-organization of the Indian Railways into 16 zones. Northern Railway now comprises of 5 Divisions-Ambala, Delhi, Ferozpur, Lucknow and Moradabad.
Spreading across the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Northern Railway seems to have the vantage point of standing atop the peninsula and transposing its work rhythms to the rest of the country.
Every land of India has its unique tale to narrate. Here are some special locations where one experiences the uniqueness of India, where one marvels at the cultural mosaic that is India. The terrain that falls in Northern Railway is also varied, from the mountainous Shivalik range to the lush Tarai region and the majestic Gangetic plains. The North of the country is bordered by the mighty Himalayas, the highest mountains on the earth. The Himalayas are not a single mountain but a series of ranges with beautiful valleys wedged between them. The final Southern range of the Himalayas, the Shivalik Hills ends abruptly in the northern plains of India. In complete contrast to the soaring mountain peaks, the northern plain is oppressively flat and slopes so gradually that almost all the way from Delhi to the Bay of Bengal it slopes only 200M.
Jammu is J&K's second largest city and its winter capital. It is from Jammu that million of pilgrims fulfill their long desire of paying respect to the Vaishno Devi Shrine. Famous hill resorts of Katra, Kud, Patnitop and Batote are accessible from Jammu. East of Kud and Patnitop is the important Sudh Mahadev Shiva Temple. Farther along, Sanasar is a beautiful valley where Gujjar Shepherds gather each summer. The World's highest PRS is situated in Leh/Ladak which is part of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is also the gateway to the Second Switzerland of the world "Srinagar".
Tourist-spots: Jammu in the foot-hills of the Himalayas is the entry point for Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Kargil, Ladakh and zanskar which are noted for unsurpassed beauty and handicrafts. The religious shrines are the Raghunath Temple, Rambiresvar Temple. Other places of interest are Bahu Fort, the Sanskrit Library , Amar Mahal, Dogra Art Gallery.
Founded in 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. Amritsar is both the center of the Sikh religion and the major city of Punjab State. Amritsar means: Pool of Nectar" referring to the sacred tank around the Golden Temple which is an exceptio9nally beautiful and peaceful place. In the old city the Durgiana Temple dating back to the 16th Century is worth visiting. The Jallianwala Bagh close to the Golden Temple takes one down memory lane of our struggle for freedom.
Famous for woolen manufacturing of garments, shawls and material for both domestic and foreign markets. The Christian Medical College, which is state of art in the medical field is frequented by patients far & wide. Some important train services available are
Was the master plan of the European modernist architect Le Corbusier in 195O. Chandigarh is on the edge of the Shivalik Hills, the outermost edge of the Himalayas. Nek Chand Rock Garden,an inspirational place in one of the highlights of this city. Just 24 kms. by train to Kalka from where four daily trains rattle up the narrow gauge mountain railway to Shimla. The Rose Garden in Sector-16 is said to be the biggest in Asia and contains more than a thousand varieties of roses. The Yadavendra Gardens at Pinjore, which is situated 20 kms. from Chandigarh is worth visiting.
Discovered by the British in 1819, which later became the Summer Capital of India. The Kalka-Shimla Railway line was constructed in 1903. The best time to visit Shimla is from mid Sept. to late Nov. There are a number of short hikes from Shimla. Jakhu Temple at 2455 M near the highest point of Shimla Ridge dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Tara devi Temple is 10 Kms from Shimla is dedicated to Tara devi, Goddess of Stars.
Famous for its brass handicrafts in both the domestic and foreign markets.
The Capital of India-which is really New Delhi. The Old Delhi was the Capital of Muslim India between the 16th & 17th Centuries, which have great monuments to testify the splendor of the era. The British built New Delhi as the imperial capital of India.
Delhi is a major travel gateway - which connects India in all four directions by super fast trains. There are 4 main stations in Delhi .The Old Delhi Station, the New Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizamuddin and the Delhi Sarai Rohilla from where many they originate and end their journey too. Some trains between Delhi and Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur operate to & from Sarai Rohilla Station rather than Old Delhi station.
The Capital of Uttar Pradesh was the Center of the Nawabs for Avadh, who were great patrons of art specially of dance and music. The city's reputation of culture exists even today of nostalgic Kathak dancing and ghazal recitals. They say time zones in Lucknow merges - sifting the present from the pasr could be quite elusive. It's also famous for seeing the Shia Muheram celebrations. Lucknow is also very famous for rich Mughlai cuisine and the attar (perfume of rose). The thread-embroidered chikankari garments of Lucknow continue to be prized item of many a designer's wardrobe. Lucknow has two major Railway stations- the Charbagh and the Lucknow Jn.
The capital of Uttaranchal which is known for Indian Military Academy, the Forest Reserve Institute, the Doon School and is the foothills of the Himalayan Range.
The town of Pathankot in the extreme north of Punjab is important to travelers purely as a crossroad. It is the gateway to the Himachal Pradesh hill-stations of Dalhousie and Dharmshala and enroute to Jammu & Srinagar.
Places of Religious Interest
The Vaidyanath Temple originally contains one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The Jwalamukhi Temple is recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipithas. The Chamunda Devi Temple, which is 10 Kms. west from Palampur.
The ancient holy city of Hardiwar which dates back to 1400 is one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism in India. Haridwar means Vishnu's Gate, which lies at the foot-hills of the Shivalik ranges. The river Ganga passes through Haridwar before it begins its 2000 Kms journey to meet the ocean at Hooghly.
The key commodities carried by the zone are Iron & Steel, Raw material for Iron & Steel, Cement, Food grains, fertilizer, POL and other commodities. Northern Railway attaches utmost importance to maintain a close institutionalized interface with the major industries like food grains, fertilizers and the dispatches by rail and road in also kept, to constantly monitor the rail co-efficient of these industries and to take measure to improve the railways share to traffic.
- Cement Plants: Gujarat-Ambuja Cement Ltd., Ropar, Ambala(Through Kiratpur station on Ambala Division).
- POL Plants: Indian Oil Company, Panki, Indian Oil Corporation, Suchipind (Firozpur), IOC Refinery Plant, Panipat.
- Thermal Power Plants at Roopnagar, Bhatinda, Lehra Mohabbat.
- Other important industries served are BHEL, Fertilizer industries, Western Indian Match Company, distilleries, Turpentine and Raisin Company, Sugar Mills, scooter factories, HAL, Asbestos, Potteries and Cycle Industries.
- Locomotive Workshop, Charbagh.
- Carriage & Wagon Workshop, Alambagh.
- Carriage & Wagon Workshop,Jagadhari
- Carriage & Wagon Workshop, Kalka.
- Bridge Workshop, Jalandhar Cantt.
- Bridge Workshop, Lucknow.
- Engineering workshop, Jalandhar.
- Signal & Telecom Workshop, Ghaziabad.
India's destination to progress is not just due to the diligence & industry of its countrymen but also due to the inherent quality of its people to harmonize all the positive changes in the milieu to its plural frame-work. This plurality contributes to greater growth and development. And Northern Railway has endeavored to project the plurality in the Northern part of India through its relentless pursuit in building a well-connected rail network to the different locations in this part of the country. Trains are operated on judicious and well-charted paths for enabling a rail traveler to glimpse the wonder that is India.
Indian Railways has endeavored to be tech-savvy in the past and still trying to incorporate and integrate all the technological changes in its business processes. We are continuing to reorient our perspectives to the changes in technology and to the resurgence in the economy.
There has been a more profound realization on the part of the organizations to improve their infrastructure for greater growth. Northern Railway has under taken greater exercises in planning and development for greater development of the region and incidentally to greater promotion of tourism.
The growth of signaling on Railways has seen mechanical signaling being replaced by electro-mechanical relays and microprocessor based interlocking. Similarly, in the field of telecommunication on Railways, electro-mechanical exchanges and over-head lines are gradually being replaced by systems based on State-of Art Optical Fiber and Digital Electronic Technologies.
Northern Railway is equipped with 40 Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) Systems including the system at Delhi Main, which is the largest RRI System in the World as certified by the Guinness Book of Records Ltd. Workshops on Northern Railways have taken many strides in production of various signaling gears.
Northern Railway has evolved a system of working simultaneously on several sites for successful completion of Projects. It has successfully erected Foot-over-bridges simultaneously in the same traffic block on busy section. ART Conversion, Vacuum Pressure Impregnation Plants are some of the modernization activities carried on in the various Workshops of the Railway. The Tughlakabad Workshop has evolved an innovative method of reducing loco failure and occasionally fire in locos due to over-heating in HP Expresser Pipe. A modification has been carried out by the shed to improve air circulation in the expresser compartment by providing car body filters in the side panel to take care of this problem. Besides better cooling, this also enables a maintenance-friendly Expresser compartment.
With the resurgence in the economy, Indian Railways has found that technologically up-grading itself as a very interesting challenge. And the Railways engaged itself with great commitment to the task of growth and is tuning itself to the changes in the socio-economic scenario.