North-western Railways: A Desert World


India is a vast country and has many different terrains as a result of the huge area it canvasses. Among the more prominent areas of the country is Rajasthan, a desert wonderland and the largest state in the country. Spanning across an area of 340000sq/km; it is rich in history and culture, with the earliest civilizations in the country being established here. The famous Rajputana Empire originates from this place and is home to many princely states such as the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer. 
The railroads have been a significant addition to this region and have helped enrich the area with resources and an influx of immigrants. The railways in this region have been around for a long time and its history stretches all the way back to the late 1800s when the Rajputana Railways constructed a metre gauge track from Marwar to Pali. Throughout the early years of the railroads, a lot of expansion took place; some of the noteworthy events that took place were:
       In 1924 the Rajputana Railways were split into Bikaner and Jodhpur Railways.
       In 1951 the Jodhpur-Bikaner line was merged into the Northern Railways and was finally made into its own zone on October 1st, 2002.
       This railway also ran one of the first India-Pakistan trains; the Sindh Mail from the 1900s to 1965, it was then shut down due to conflicts between India and Pakistan. It was reopened for service again in 2006.    
The North-western Railways is headquartered in Jaipur, Rajasthan and remains one of the most important sectors of the IR in terms of employees and revenue. This region employs more than 60000 people and generates more than 500 million dollars in annual revenue. Each year more than 150 million passengers use the north-western Railways. The high revenue and the passenger usage can be attributed to the huge number of tourists and pilgrims that flock the state every year. This region is not just limited to the state of Rajasthan, but also includes parts of southern Punjab, Haryana and northern Gujarat.
The zone is divided into four zones for easier functioning and flexibility. It is also one of the four zones to receive an upgraded GPS enabled “Fog Pilot Assistance System.” This replaced an archaic practice of placing firecrackers on train tracks to warn drivers, which was dangerous and highly inefficient. Today, with these state-of-the-art systems drivers now know exactly where the markers on tracks are and the location of signals and level-crossing gates.
This desolate desert region can be a very beautiful one in its scenery; one can find a great many temples, monuments and forts. There are also a number of national parks and wildlife reserves in this region. There are a few places which are very unique to this region and possibly the world, such as the town of Pushkar, which is home to the only Brahma temple in the world. it makes for one enticing prospect and one should get on right away to get their train reservation and hop on a train for more adventures.

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