Class 10th Geography

Railways And Waterways :Lifelines of National Economy Geography Notes on NCERT


  • Indian Railways is one of the largest PSU in the Country
  • The Indian Railways route length network is spread over 115,000 km, with 12,617 passenger trains and 7,421 freight trains each day from 7,349 stations plying 23 million travelers and 3 million tonnes (MT) of freight daily.
  • The first train ran from Mumbai to Thane in 1853, a distance of 34 km.
  • The northern plains because of its vast leveled land, high population density and rich agricultural resources worked as a favorable condition for their growth.
  • In the hilly terrains of the peninsular region, railway tracts are laid through low hills, gaps or tunnels.

Read The First Part Heree Life Line of National Economy : Geography Notes for Class 10th NCERT

Gauges (Highest to Lowest)

1. Broad gauge (1.676m)→ 46,807km
2. Metro Gauge (1m)→ 13,209km
3. Narrow Gauge (0.762 & 0.610m)→ 3,124km

  • In south the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company.
  • It ran between Vyasarpadi Jeeva Nilayam (Veyasarpandy) and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles.
  • In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1859.
  • The first section from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment was opened to traffic on 19th October, 1875.


Facts to Note on Indian Railway

  1. Indian Railways has a mascot – Bholu, the Guard Elephant.
  2. Dibrugarh Kanyakumari Vivek Express the longest train route in the Indian Subcontinent.
  3. Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta railway station has the longest name among all stations on the Indian Railway system.
  4. Mughalsarai Junction railway station contains the largest railway marshaling yard in Asia.
  5. Gorakhpur Junction railway station has the world’s longest railway platform with length of 1,366.33 m.
  6. The Slowest train in India is the Metupalayam Ooty Nilgiri passenger train.
  7. Howrah is the busiest railway station in the nation train frequency of 974.
  8. Ghum Railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the highest railway station in India.


  • Pipelines are used for transporting crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas from oil and natural gas fields to refineries, fertilizer factories and big thermal power plants
  • Solids can also be transported through a pipeline when converted into slurry.
  • Initial cost of laying pipelines is high but subsequent running costs are minimal.
  • It rules out transshipment losses or delays.
Gas Pipeline Map of India
Gas Pipeline Map of India

Important Networks

1. From Oil field in Upper Assam to Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
– Via Guwahati, Barauni, Allahabad
– Branches
• Barauni to Haldia, Via Rajband
• Rajband to Maurigram
• Guwahati to siliguri

2. From Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab
– Via Viramgam, Mathura, Delhi, Sonipat.
– Branches to connect Koyali (near Vadodara, Gujarat), Chakshu & other places.

3. Gas Pipeline from Hazira in Gujarat to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh
• It has branches to Kota in Rajasthan and  Shahajahanpur, Babrales etc in Uttar Pradesh


  • Waterways are the cheapest means of transport.
  • They are most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods.

    National Waterways

Image Courtesy
  1. Ganga River between Allahabad & Haldia→ NW : 1 (1620km)
  2. Brahmaputra River between Sodiya & Dhubri (891km)→ NW: 2
  3. The West – Coast canal in Kerala (Kottapurma – Komman, Udyogamandal & Champakkara Canals – 205km) – NW:3
  4. Specified stretches of Godavari and Krishna rivers along with Kakinada Puducherry stretch of canals (1078 km) – N.W. No.4
  5. Specified stretches of river Brahmani along with Matai river, delta channels of Mahanadi and Brahmani rivers and East Coast Canal (588 km) – N.W. No.5

Major Sea Ports

  • India has  12 Major & 181 medium & minor ports
  1. Kandla in Kuchchh was the first port developed soon after Independence to ease the volume of trade on the Mumbai port, in the wake of loss of Karachi port to Pakistan after the Partition.
  2. Mumbai (Maharashtra)→ 4th highest cargo handling
    • Biggest port with natural & well – sheltered harbour.
    – South of Mumbai, Largest Container Port in India, serve as a hub port.
  3. Marmagao Port (Goa) – Premier Iron Ore exporting port of India.
    Accounts for 50% of India’s iron ore export.
  4. New Mangalore Port(Karnataka) – Export  iron ore from Kudremuch mines.
  5.  Kochchi Port (Kerala) –  Located at entrance of lagoon with a Natural Harbour.
  6. Paradwip port ( Odisha) – specialises in the export of iron ore.
  7. Kolkata is an inland riverine port. This port serves a very large and rich hinterland of Ganga- Brahmaputra basin.
  8. Tuticorin Port (Tamil Nadu) Handles large cargoes to even Srilanka, Maldives etc &
  9. Vishakapatnam Port is 5th highest cargo handling . It is Deepest landlocked & well – protected port.

Read the Last Part of Life Line of National Economy Here 

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