of Railway Lines in India
The Railway Board has
classified the railway lines in India based on the importance of the route, the
traffic carried, and the maximum permissible speed on the route. The complete
classification is given below.
1 Broad Gauge Routes
All the broad gauge
(BG) routes of Indian Railways have been classified into five different groups
based on speed criteria as given below.
Group A lines
These lines are meant for a sanctioned speed of 160
Delhi to Howrah by Rajdhani route
Delhi to Mumbai Central by Frontier Mail/Rajdhani route
Delhi to Chennai Central by Grand Trunk route
to Mumbai VT via Nagpur
Group B lines
These lines are meant for a sanctioned speed of 130
over Farakka-Malda town
Group C lines
These lines are meant for suburban sections of
Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi.
Group D and D Spl lines
These lines are meant for sections where the maximum
sanctioned speed is 100 km/h.
Group E and E Spl lines
These lines are meant for other sections and branch
D Spl and E Spl routes Based
on the importance of routes, it has been decided that few selected
routes presently falling under D and E routes will be classified as D special
and E special routes. This has been done for the purpose of track renewal and
priority allotment of funds. The track standards for these routes will be 60-kg
90 ultimate tensile strength (UTS) rails and prestressed concrete (PSC)
sleepers with sleeper density of 1660 per km.
2 Metre Gauge Routes
Depending upon the
importance of routes, traffic carried, and maximum permissible speed, the metre
gauge (MG) tracks of Indian Railways were earlier classified into three main
categories, namely, trunk routes, main lines, and branch lines. These track
standards have since been revised and now the MG routes have been classified as
Q, R1, R2, R3, and S routes as discussed below.
Review of track standard for MG Routes
committee of directors, chief engineers, and additional commissioner of railway
safety (ACRS) was formed in 1977 to review the track standards for MG routes.
The committee submitted
its report in December 1981, in which it recommended that MG routes be
classified into four categories, namely, P, Q, R, and S routes, based on speed
criteria. The committee's recommendations were accepted by the Railway Board
after certain modifications. The final categories are as follows.
Q routes Routes
with a maximum permissible speed of more than 75 kmph. The traffic
density is generally more than 2.5 GMT [gross million tonne(s) per km/ annum].
R routes Routes
with a speed potential of 75 kmph and a traffic density of more than 1.5
GMT. R routes have further been classified into three categories depending upon
the volume of traffic:
density more than 5 GMT
density between 2.5 and 5 GMT
density between 1.5 and 2.5 GMT
routes Routes with a speed potential of less than 75 kmph
and a traffic density of less than 1.5 GMT. These consist of routes that
are not covered in Q, R1, R2, and R3 routes. S routes have been further
subclassified into three routes, namely, S1, S2, and S3. S1 routes are used for
the through movement of freight traffic, S3 routes are uneconomical branch
lines, and S2 routes are those which are neither S1 nor S3 routes.