Suburban or commuter rail plays a major role in the public transport system of many major Indian cities. Suburban rail is a rail service between a central business district and the suburbs, a conurbation or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. The trains are called suburban trains. These trains are also referred to as "local trains" or "locals". The suburban rail systems in Hyderabad, Pune, Barabanki-Lucknow, Lucknow-Kanpur and Bengaluru do not have dedicated suburban tracks but share tracks with long distance trains. The suburban rail system of Chennai and Mumbai have both dedicated tracks and tracks shared with long distance trains. In this article, we would be talking about the suburban rail service of India’s major cities.
Started operations on 16th April 1853 (170 years ago), Mumbai Suburban Railway consists of exclusive inner suburban railway lines augmented by commuter rail on main lines serving outlying suburbs to serve the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The Mumbai Suburban Rail spreads over 425 kilometres (427.5 km) with 7 lines and 150 stations. The suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and carries more than 7.5 million commuters daily. The Mumbai Suburban Rail are being operated and managed by Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) divisions of Indian Railways. By annual ridership (2.64 billion), the Mumbai Suburban Railway is one of the busiest commuter rail systems in the world and it has some of the most severe overcrowding in the world. Trains run from 04:00 until 01:00, and some trains also run up to 02:30.
Started operations on 15th August 1854, Kolkata Suburban Railway is the largest suburban railway network in India, serving the suburbs of Kolkata. Kolkata Suburban Railway has 458 stations and a track length of 1,501 km. The suburban railway operates 1450 EMU services and 159 MEMU services carrying 3.1 million (31.51 lakhs) people daily. It runs from 4 a.m to 2 a.m in the night. The Kolkata Suburban Railway services are being operated and managed by Eastern Railway (ER) and South Eastern Railway (SER) divisions of Indian Railways.
Started operations in 1867, Lucknow - Kanpur Suburban Railway System is a commuter rail service operated by Northern Railways (NR), North Central Railway (NCR) and North Eastern Railway (NER) divisions of Indian Railways to connect administrative capital Lucknow with the economic and industrial capital Kanpur of the Uttar Pradesh. The Lucknow - Kanpur Suburban Railway covers a total distance of 72 kilometres.
Started operations in 1931, Chennai Suburban Railway has 4 major suburban railway lines to serve millions of people daily in the city of Chennai (Madras). The total system spans about 1,175 km (with 8 lines and over 300 stations) of which only 286 km have dedicated dual tracks for suburban EMUs, the rest share tracks with other trains and are called mainline EMUs (MEMUs). The Chennai Suburban Rail services are being operated and managed by Southern Railway (SR) division of Indian Railways.
Started operations in 1975, Delhi Suburban Rail covers a total network of 35 kilometres with 46 stations. This railway service covers Delhi, along with the adjoining districts of Faridabad, Ghaziabad and other adjoining places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi Suburban Railway uses the same tracks that are also used for long distance trains. These suburban rail services are being operated and managed by Northern Railway (NR) division of Indian Railways. Back in 2009, Ladies Special trains were introduced between New Delhi and Palwal and from New Delhi to Ghaziabad and Panipat.
Started operations on 11th March 1978, Pune Suburban Railway (also known as Pune Suburban Service or Pune Local Railway) is a suburban rail system connecting Pune to its suburbs and neighboring villages in Pune District, Maharashtra. Pune's suburban railway covers a total network of 63 kilometres with 17 stations operates. The suburban rail covers two routes, i.e. from Pune Junction to Lonavla and from Pune Junction to Talegaon. There are 5 trains which operate on Pune Junction - Talegaon route while 18 trains operate on Pune Junction - Lonavla route. The Pune suburban railway are being operated and managed by Central Railway (CR) of Indian Railways.
Started operations on 9th August 2003, Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System is a suburban rail system in Hyderabad, India. It is a joint partnership of Government of Telangana and the South Central Railway, and is operated by the latter. The first phase of Multi Modal Transport System of Hyderabad is completed and operational in particular routes. The Hyderabad MMTS covers a total network of 90 kilometres with 44 stations. The MMTS services are being operated and managed by South Central Railway (SER) of Indian Railways.
Barabanki - Lucknow Suburban Railway is a commuter rail service operated by Northern Railways (NR), North Central Railway (NCR) and North Eastern Railway (NER) divisions of Indian Railways to connect Lucknow with Barabanki. These services are mostly run using EMU and MEMU rakes. However it does not have dedicated suburban tracks but share the tracks with long distance trains. The Barabanki - Lucknow Suburban Rail covers a total network of 65 kilometres with 13 stations.
The first DEMU Train service in Goa along the Konkan Railway route, between Pernem and Karwar was started on 1st April 2015. Pernem and Karwar DEMU train is suburban like services connecting local stations of Konkan Railway in Goa, Margao and Karwar. The Pernem - Karwar Suburban Railway system covers a total distance of 117.2 kilometres with 12 stations. The Pernem - Karwar Suburban Railway services are being operated and managed by Konkan Railway (KR) of Indian Railways.
The Bengaluru Suburban or Commuter Rail is newly proposed suburban rail project in Bengaluru. The Bengaluru Suburban rail will span a total network of 148.17 km with 57 stations planned across four corridors in six directions of Bengaluru, which includes Kengeri (Mysuru side), Chikkabanavara (Tumakuru side), Rajanukunte (Doddaballapura side), Devanahalli (Kolar side), Whitefield (Bangarapet side), and Heelalige. The Bengaluru Suburban Rail system will be implemented and operated by Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited, also known as K-RIDE.