The Western Railways was formed on 5th November 1951 by the merging of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) with the other state railways of Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur. The BB&CI Railway had been in existence from 1855 and began with a 29 mile broad gauge track from Ankleshwar to Utran in Gujarat.
Starting from the 1st of January 1942, the Government of India took over the management of the BB&CI Railway. In its present form, the Western Railways covers 6181.46 kms of track consisting of broad gauge(BG), metre gauge(MG) and narrow gauge(NG) sections.
The Mumbai division consists of the suburban section of the Western Railways initially extending from Churchgate to Virar, and now increased up to Dahanu Road. It has 38 stations and runs for 120 kms. The first electric train ran between Colaba and Andheri in 1928.
The Vadodara or Baroda division extends from Surat to Geratpur (on the Ahmedabad side) and up to Godhra (on the New Delhi side). It covers 570.05 BG and 723.95 NG route kms. It covers nine districts of Gujarat namely Surat, Narmada, Bharuch, Baroda, Panchmahal, Anand, Kheda, Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha.
The Ahmedabad division extends up to Palanpur in the north, Vatva in the south, Himmatnagar in the east and Naliya in the west. It is considered one of the highest revenue generating divisions.
The Ratlam division was formed on the 15th of August, 1956 and covers 20 districts in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. It contains 783.4 of BG and 278.57 or NG Route kms of which 579.12 BG Route kms are electrified as well.
The Rajkot division includes tourist spots like Rarnetkar.The Bhavnagar division serves the Bhavnagar, Surendranagar, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Amreli, Junagadh and Porbandar districts of Gujarat. It has 1327.76 Route kms of which 666.27 are BG and 661.49 are MG. This division was formally inaugurated on 15th August 1956.
The Mumbai Suburban Railway Network is the lifeline of the city of Mumbai, and about 6 million people travel each day on this section of it. This section was also the first to introduce a Ladies special train between Churchgate and Virar. The Western Railways serve many places of historic significance in the area such as Anand, the origin of the "White Revolution" in the Vadodara division, and Ujjain and Omkareshwar in the Ratlam division.
The Bhavnagar division of this Railway also serves the Gir Lion sanctuary that is very well known for its work in wildlife preservation. The transport of commodities like Cement and Rock phosphate by the Ratlam division helps contribute to the development of social and economical conditions of the area.
The Mumbai section of the Western Railways has implemented the pioneering Train Management System (TMS) in the suburban section up to Virar. The TMS provides commuters with real time information regarding train movement.
This also enables the countdown of the expected time of arrival in minutes to be displayed at the stations along with automated announcements of the same. The Western Railway reservation system along with all other usual interfaces also includes 17 Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sevak facilities in the Ratlam division.
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