Suburban 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.
1. Mumbai Suburban Railway
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. Spread over 465 kilometres (289 mi), the suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and carries more than 7.5 million commuters daily. 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.
2. Kolkata Suburban Railway
Kolkata Suburban Railway is the largest suburban railway network in India, serving the suburbs of Kolkata. Now Kolkata Sub-Urban Railway has 348 stations and a track length of 1,172 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.
3. Lucknow - Kanpur Suburban Railway
Lucknow - Kanpur Suburban Railway System is a commuter rail service operated by Northern Railways, North Central Railway and North Eastern Railway to connect administrative capital Lucknow with the economic and industrial capital Kanpur of the state Uttar Pradesh.
4. Chennai Suburban Railway
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 around 900 km 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).
5. Delhi Suburban Railway
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. In 2009 Ladies Special trains were introduced between New Delhi and Palwal and from New Delhi to Ghaziabad and Panipat.
6. Pune Suburban Railway
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 operates on 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.
7. Hyderabad Multi - Modal Transport System
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.
8. Barabanki - Lucknow Suburban Railway
Barabanki - Lucknow Suburban Railway is a commuter rail service operated by Northern Railways, North Central Railway and North Eastern Railway 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.
9. Pernem - Karwar Suburban Railway
The first DEMU Train service in Goa along the Konkan Railway route, between Pernem and Karwar. Pernem and Karwar DEMU train is suburban like services connecting local stations of Konkan Railway in Goa, Margao and Karwar.
Proposed Suburban Railway but not planned:
Bengaluru Commuter Rail, Karnataka
Ahmedabad Suburban Railway, Gujarat
Coimbatore Suburban Railway, Tamilnadu