Books and Media - II

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Books on IR's history, operations, engineering plus travelogues and guides are listed on this page.

Maps & Atlases

The Great Indian Railway Atlas: Third Edition (2015)

by Samit Roychoudhury
128pp, ISBN-10: 8190145738 ISBN-13: 978-8190145732
INR 700.00

The most comprehensive atlas covering all extant lines (as of 2015). Includes geographical, administrative and gauge details.

Railway Map of India

by Edmund W Fearn
Lithographed map, prepared for Newman's Indian Bradshaw
Undated. Not in print.

The Atlas of Train Travel

by J. B. Hollingsworth
1980, Sidgwick & Jackson, London

A TTK Guide to India's Railways

(TTK Discover India Series)
1996, 2000. ISBN 81-7053-112-8
No longer in print.

Online Maps

See the maps section of the FAQ for detailed historical route maps of the Indian Railways network.

There are some other maps of India available online, although very few of them are railway-related.

  • The Indian Railways official web site has an interactive railway network map that is organized by railway zone.
  • The University of California at Berkeley has a collection of 1:250,000 topographic maps of India and Pakistan from the US Army Map Service, most dating to the 1950s.
  • The Digital South Asia Library at the University of Chicago has a collection of early 20th century maps of India.
  • The University of Texas at Austin has an online collection of maps, including some recent, historical, and thematic maps of India.
  • Various mapping services from Google, Apple, OpenStreetMaps, HERE etc. usually have updated information on IR's network and routes, but they are not catalogued by region or zone.

Official zonal maps are available with the Chief Engineer's office of each zonal railway; they are not generally available for sale although copies may be obtained from there on occassion. The National Academy of Indian Railways (formerly Railway Staff College) in Vadodara also has official zonal and system maps for IR.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

An 850mm x 450mm map of the main DHR line by John Gillham is available from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society of the UK. This map does not show relief, nor any roads other than the Cart Road. Another good map of the DHR is one that appeared in the Loco Profile booklet on Darjeeling Tanks (see the locomotive books section for information on this).

Topographic Maps

The Survey of India publishes topographic and other maps at various scales for different regions of India. Small-scale maps and thematic maps of various kinds are easily found. However, it is hard to obtain official and accurate maps, especially topographic maps, of many areas that are treated as sensitive or of military significance (mainly of the north-east of the country, areas in Rajasthan, Punjab, etc., within 50km of the international border, coastal areas within 50km of the shore, and many others).

In particular, based on a 1968 law (Official Order No. F.7(7)/64/D(GS-III) of April 15, 1968) modifying earlier British policy, large-scale maps (i.e., scales larger than 1:250 000) are highly restricted for the sensitive areas; maps up to only 1:1000 000 are available for some coastal areas; and toposheets up to 1:25 000 are available to the public for areas of India designated as unrestricted for map distribution purposes. Of some interest are the 1:500 000 Tactical Pilotage charts which are fairly easily available, but these do not show a lot of detail.

Note: The possession, distribution, or export of topographic maps of restricted areas at large scales requires clearance from the Ministry of Defence and sometimes also from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and penalties including imprisonment may apply to anyone found using these within India without official authorization.

Finally, note that old maps (pre-Independence) of India and Indian railways are available in libraries such as the Oriental and India Office collections at the British Library in London, UK.


Q. Where can I get “Trains at a Glance”?

TAAG lists only the long-distance mail and superfast express trains; you have to refer to the specific zonal timetables for all non-express passenger trains, locals, and shuttle services. It is published by the Ministry of Railways every year, usually between July and September, and is available at most railway book stalls. A PDF version of TAAG can also be acccessed online on the passenger reservation enquiry website.

Q. Where can I get the “Bradshaw” for Indian Railways?

It is believed the Indian Bradshaw is no longer published. The last record of a published edition dates from 2016. The Bradshaw's publisher W. Newman & Co list no recent information about its current status. Older copies maybe available in second-hand bookshops and online auction sites like Ebay.

Q. Where can I get the Thomas Cook timetables?

The Thomas Cook timetables are no longer published.

In the past, Thomas Cook travel bureaus usually supplied these. There were two main timetables from Thomas Cook; one covered Europe (the “European” timetable) and the other covered Russia and all of Asia (the “Overseas” timetable).

They also publish other rail guides and maps that cover Russia, India, the US, Australia, etc. The availability of these is presently unknown.

Q. Where can I get a copy of Rail Duniya?

Rail Duniya is no longer published. It was a Hindi and English quarterly, with quite up-to-date schedules for al of IR. Copies maybe available on online auction sites.

Journals & Periodicals

Q. How do I subscribe to the “Indian Railways” magazine? What does the “Indian Railways” magazine contain?

The “Indian Railways” magazine is the primary periodical published by IR covering its activities and events. Although it is intended mainly for railway staff, it is available to all for purchase or subscription. Digital copies can also be downloaded for free.

Articles in the magazine usually cover news items about new trains, construction, etc., as well as activities (whether of a railway nature or not, e.g., sports, cultural activities, charity) of railway organizations and staff. Each issue also usually has a special section of articles on a focus topic, which may be about a single zone or division, or a particular aspect of railway working. In addition, there are articles by railway staff that are not related to railway matters at all (poems, health, etc.).

Once a year (usually in April) a special issue is put out which includes a summary report on the achievements of all the zones and production units, etc. On the whole the magazine is interesting reading for railfans, and usually has a few nuggets of information that may not be available in the general media.

You can subscribe to “Indian Railways” magazine by sending your subscription request to:

The Business Manager
Indian Railways Magazine
Room No. 310, Rail Bhavan
Raisina Road
New Delhi - 110 001

Subscription charges per year:
India - INR 100 (non-employees), INR 90 (employees)
Overseas - INR 1000

Payment may be made by demand drafts (payable to the 'Business Manager, Indian Railways'), postal orders, or money orders. Personal cheques are not accepted.

In the past, delivery of the issues of this magazine used to be erratic, but this has improved recently. Still, international subscribers can expect to see some issues arrive late by a month or more in some cases, or out of sequence. International subscribers should also note that issues occasionally go missing in the mail because of the poor quality envelopes used for mailing them which frequently tear apart in transit.

Q. What about other periodicals?

The Railways Year Book is published annually and has a compilation of IR statistics and information on all aspects of IR. Urban Railways is a bi-annual publication covering various issues relating to railways in India. Transport Track is another bi-annual publication dealing with more general issues of transportation. These are available from the Impression India Group of Publications in New Delhi.

Indian Railways Annual Statistical Statement is an extensive compilation of statistical data about IR (routes, rolling stock, financials, commercial and operational statistics, safety, efficiency, etc.). Copies can be purchased from the National Rail Museum, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021.

Rail Business Focus India is a monthly publication focused on commercial and technology news related to IR. Past issues are available for download in PDF format from the web site.

Paripurna Railway Samachar (“Complete Railway News”), a Hindi fortnightly publication, is published from Kalyan and has some snippets of railway news and articles aimed at railway staff, with quite a bit of political advocacy. Production quality is sketchy.

Issues of Jane's World Railways are often good sources of material (although not very extensive) on railways in India.

The Rail Enthusiasts' Society publishes a quarterly magazine covering various aspects of present day IR, as well history, operations, modelling etc. Copies can be downloaded from the website.

The Continental Railway Circle published a quarterly magazine that often had an article or information about Indian railways. In the early 1970s, A E Durrant had many articles here on Indian steam and railway operations.

The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust (BORHT) also publishes occasional articles on Indian railways (some articles of note are two on the rules in 1893 for construction of railways in India, and one on the Fatwah-Islampur line).

BORHT also publishes a quarterly journal, The British Railway Journal, a 15-20 page magazine with excellent archival B&W prints from around the world and articles on historical details of railways. Subscription is included in the membership of BORHT.

The Darjeeling Mail is a quarterly magazine from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society with articles, photographs, travel advice, and news.

The Railway Gazette which later became the Railway Gazette International covered many things about Indian railways especially in the pre-Independence era. They had special issues on India between 1913-1925, and in 1929. The Railway Gazette International is still published regularly, and covers a lot of topics of interest to those in the railway industry, and occasionally carries articles dealing with India and neighbouring countries.

Copies of the newsletters of the now-defunct Indian Railways Study Group (IRSG) are available from the BORHT. In addition to their newsletters, a comprehensive listing of references to Indian locomotive and rolling stock data and diagrams in various periodicals such as Locomotive Magazine and Railway Magazine is available in the datasheets issued along with the newsletters. Copies are available from:

Edwin Lambert
Sgubor Degwm
High Street
Glyn Ceiriog
Llangollen, Wales
LL20 7EE, United Kingdom

Although not strictly a periodical, Google's Arts & Culture section contains an a fairly comprehensive look at Indian Railways, operations, history and the people behind running it. It is frequently updated.

Videos & Other Multimedia

YouTube has an extensive collection of Indian train videos from the recent past. Many rail fans have dedicated channels to chronicle their travels, sightings, and noting operational details and changes.

The following is mostly an older list of producers and films that covered IR from the 1960s to the late 2000s.

Nick Lera/Locomotion Pictures

Relics of the Raj: This tape has Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway, 2'6" Western Railway NG network near Baroda, BG steam in Bengal -- WP, 0-6-0, HPS, Bengal NG 2-4-0 at Shantipur, MG in Goa - Steam banking action in Ghat section on the British built 2-8-2, the Nilgiri Line, and lastly about a minute and a half of the Patiala State Monorail.

Toy Train To The Clouds: Final months of 100% steam to Darjeeling, plus historic footage of freight trains. Includes 'Baby Sivok' on its unique main line outing to Agony Point. 75 minutes.

Steam's Indian Summer: A Farewell to Indian Steam with Mark Tully; a farewell tribute to Indian steam. Bankura narrow gauge CC, Mhow Ghat steam cab ride, WL light Pacifics in Punjab, etc., 1994-97. The entire production appeared on Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, etc.

Rails to the North West Frontier Pakistan, 1993-96: Features the Bolan Pass including a long driver's eye view sequence through the tunnels, Mirpur Khas meter gauge (3 steam classes), Samasata CWD, Malakwal inside cylinder locos, the Khyber Pass with its original HGS 2-8-0, and a shot of steam on the Attock Bridge across the Indus. Loco repair sequences including a steam crane lift. Inside cylinder motion of an SPS 4-4-0 filmed from the running board. Total 50 min.


A range of DVD productions covering steam and electric railways and tramways in India, Europe, South America and Australia.

Darjeeling Delights: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, shot in January 1997, when the line was still all steam. Includes scenes at Batasia, Chunbati, and Agony Point loops, zig-zags 1 and 4, and Kurseong Bazaar. 53 minutes, all-digital. Map, diagrams 120 mins.

The Ooty Rack: Filmed in Jan. 1997, April 1999, and September 2004; includes 4 short scenes on Super-8 movie film and some still shots dating back to 1973. Focus is on the rack, but this production shows trains operating over the full length of the line, including YDM4 diesels and the oil-burners. Digitally edited. Maps, diagrams.

Last Wisps of Indian Steam: MG steam on the Bari Sadri branch near Udaipur in Jan. 1997, and on the Wankaner - Morvi - Maliya Miyana section in April 1999. 53 minutes. All digital. Includes maps and diagrams. 71 mins.

Calcutta Trams: Digital footage from 1997 and stills dating back to 1970. Covers all lines then running. Local colour. Maps. 55 mins.

Pakistan Steam: Shot in 1982 in Pakistan, this is a clockwise tour around Pakistan's railway system. All important locations are covered, both strategic border lines and the busy commerce of the plains. The Bolan Pass is seen in bitter winter weather, and husky HG/S 2-8-0s shunt at Bostan in deep snow. The Khyber Pass is seen in sunshine all the way to the current terminus at Landi Kotal. On the plains, Sarghoda, Malakwal, Multan, Kundian, Nowshera, Wazirabad, Lahore, Kotri and Karachi are all visited. BESA 0-6-0s and 4-4-0s, IRS XA 4-6-2s, AWD/CWD 2-8-2s, and numerous diesels are seen on mainline and local services. Metre gauge 4-6-0s and 2-8-2s are recorded at Mirpur Khas Junction. Includes stills from slides. Maps. 56 min.

Clouds Rising in the Sky: In September 2004 UNESCO was considering the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in southern India for World Heritage status. This film follows the inspection of the railway for the preparation of the report on which the UNESCO decision would be based. All digital. 38 min.

Never a Toy: Shows the 2007 UNESCO World Heritage inspection of the Kalka-Shimla railway, with diesel and steam. All digital.

Indian Railways: Four Short Films: Includes KSR cab rides on steam and railmotor, plus a main line diesel cab ride in Rajastan. All digital. 60 mins.

Alcazar Video

Steam Across the World - West & North India
Steam Across the World - South India
Steam Across the World - Pakistan in the 1970's


Indian steam sunset volumes 1,2 & 3
Indus Express (Pakistan)


Great Railways - The Flying Scotsman
Great Railway Journeys Of The World - India

The Flying Scotman tape has an introduction by O.S.Nock and also features "The Romance Of Indian Railways" narrated by Mr. Satow (founder of the National Railway Museum - Delhi).

National Geographic

Great Indian Railway

This is the 2-hour segment on various aspects of IR which appears regularly on TV stations around the world. It is very well-done, with a wide cross-section of passengers, railway staff, trains, and locations.


World Class Trains

Six different sections on various trains; one is on the Palace on Wheels in India (about an hour long). Covers the WDM-2-hauled POW in Rajasthan with commentary on landscape/surroundings, a few other IR shots.

Roy Laverick

Steam in the sub-continent
Indian Summer
East Revisited (India and China)

Craig McCourry

50 minutes of steam in India (Rajasthan) and China (Inner Mongolia).

Francoise Gall and Bernard D'Abrigeon

India - World's Greatest Train Ride Videos

Train tour of India, New Delhi, Taj Mahal, 7 other cities. 52 minutes. 1995, Publisher's Choice Video.

Mukul Mangalik

Veiled in Vapour

A short movie on Indian steam, featuring prominent footage on the Ahmedabad - Udaipur line.

For books on history, operations, engineering etc., please see this page.