With over 62,000 route kilometers and more than 7,000 stations, the Indian railways are the arteries of India's growth and existence. The second largest system in the world and the largest in Asia, the railways carry 3,500 million passengers and 370 million tonnes of freight every year. It is more than just a mode of transport; it is in fact, a means to the very existence of every Indian.
People of every linguistic, ethnic and cultural identity are transported across India's plains and mountains; and every component of the country's economy from steel to cement and from fertilizers to food-grains are carried by the railways-truly, the nation's life-line.
The railways employ 16.5 lakh employees of which 0.84 per cent or 1,35,000 are management personnel. There are opportunities for a range of professionals from the administrative and financial spheres to engineering, medical, and teaching and computers. In 1992-93, the number of newly recruited officers totaled 4,814.
The network comprises nine zones, which are coordinated and managed by an apex structure, the Railway Board. The nine zones each headed by a General Manager are: Central (Bombay); Eastern (Calcutta); Northern (New Delhi); North Eastern (Gorakhpur); North-East Frontier (Maligaon: Guwahati); Southern (Madras); South-Central (Secunderabad); South-Eastern (Calcutta); Western (Bombay). The zones are sub-divided into fifty-nine operating divisions.