The 76 Most Popular Books to Discover Indian Railways

In this article, I am going to list down the top 76 books that will help you discover Indian Railways, the 4th largest rail network in the world (Source: Wiki).

Indian Railways occupies an important place in the history of modern India. Not only did it help leaders like Mahatma Gandhi travel across the country but visualizing a nation as great as India became easier because of the railways.

So, without much ado, let’s get started.

#1. Indian Railways – A Visual Journey: Transforming a Nation’s Destiny

indian-railways-a-visual-journey-dk-bibek-debroy

Author: DK

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#2. A Short History of Indian Railways

a-short-history-of-indian-railways-rajendra-aklekar

Author: Rajendra B. Aklekar

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#3. The Great Indian Railway Atlas

the-great-indian-railway-atlas-samit-roychoudhury

Author: Samit Roychoudhury

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#4. Railways and the Raj

railways-and-the-raj-christian-wolmar

Author: Christian Wolmar

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#5. Changing Tracks: Reinventing the Spirit of Indian Railways

changing-tracks-v-nilakant

Author: V. Nilakant

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#6. The Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories

the-penguin-book-of-indian-railway-stories-ruskin-bond

Author: Ruskin Bond

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#7. Third Class in Indian Railways

Author: Mahatma Gandhi

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#8. Indian Railways: The Weaving of a National Tapestry

indian-railways-the-weaving-of-a-national-tapestry-bibek-debroy

Authors: Bibek Debroy, Sanjay Chadha, Vidya Krishnamurthi

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#9. Around India in 80 Trains

around-india-in-80-trains-monisha-rajesh

Author: Monisha Rajesh

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#10. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway: A Journey Through Time (1853-1871)

the-great-indian-peninsula-railway-rita-bhambi

Author: Dr. Rita P. Bhambi

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#11. India’s Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan

india's-railway-man-rajendra-aklekar

Author: Rajendra B. Aklekar

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#12. Halt Station India: The Dramatic Tale of the Nation’s First Rail Lines

halt-station-india-rajendra-aklekar

Author: Rajendra B. Aklekar

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#13. The Purveyors of Destiny: A Cultural Biography of the Indian Railways

the-purveyors-of-destiny-arup-chatterjee

Author: Arup Chatterjee

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#14. The Great Indian Railways: A Cultural Biography

the-great-indian-railways-arup-chatterjee

Author: Arup Chatterjee

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#15. The Boy Who Loved Trains

the-boy-who-loved-trains-deepak-sapra

Author: Deepak Sapra

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#16. Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop But Never Get Off

chai-chai-bishwanath-ghosh

Author: Bishwanath Ghosh

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#17. Treasure At the Train Station: An Adventure in Mumbai

treasure-at-the-train-station-joeanna-rebello-fernandes

Author: Joeanna Rebello Fernandes, Rituparna Sarkar, Hitesh Sonar

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#18. 500 Miles

500-miles-yogesh-mali

Author: Yogesh Mali

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#19. The Railway Chronicles

the-railway-chronicles-bibek-debroy

Author: Bibek Debroy

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#20. Engines of Change: The Railroads That Made India

engines-of-change-the-railroads-that-made-india-ian-kerr

Author: Ian J. Kerr

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#21. Building the Railways of the Raj, 1850-1900

building-the-railways-of-the-raj-ian-kerr

Author: Ian J. Kerr

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#22. Railways in Modern India

railways-in-modern-india-ian-kerr

Author: Ian J. Kerr

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#23. The Train to Darjeeling & Other Railway Tales (Kindle Edition)

the-train-to-darjeeling-other-railway-tales-sanjoy-mookerjee

Author: Sanjoy Mookerjee

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#24. India, No Problem, Sahib: A Tour of India and Her Railways

india-no-problem-sahib-peter-david-jordan

Author: Peter David Jordan, Richard Paget, David Charlesworth 

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#25. India by Rail

india-by-rail-royston-ellis

Author: Royston Ellis

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#26. Rail Across India: A Photographic Journey

rail-across-india-photographic-journey-paul-pet

Author: Paul C. Pet (Author), Geoffrey Moorhouse (Author), Brian Hollingsworth (Author)

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#27. Welcome Aboard the Indian Railways

welcome-aboard-indian-railways-savitha-ram-mohan

Author: Savitha Ram Mohan

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#28. The Railways in Assam: 1885-1947

the-railways-in-assam-sarah-hilaly

Author: Sarah Hilaly

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#29. Crossing the Lines

crossing-the-lines-pramod-kumar

Author: Pramod Kumar

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#30. Exploring Indian Railways

exploring-indian-railways-bill-aitken

Author: Bill Aitken

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#31. Indian Railways (Kindle Edition)

indian-railways-amit-ahlawat

Author: Amit Ahlawat

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#32. India Junction: A Window to the Nation

india-junction-seema-sharma

Editor: Seema Sharma

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#33. Our Indian Railway: Themes in India’s Railway History

our-indian-railway-themes-in-indias-railway-history-roopa-srinivasan

Author: Roopa Srinivasan, Manish Tiwari, and Sandeep Silas

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#34. 27 Down: New Departures in Indian Railway Studies

27-down-new-departures-in-indian-railway-studies-ian-j-kerr

Author: Ian J. Kerr

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#35. Indian Railways – Strategy for Reforms

indian-railways-strategy-for-reforms-kb-verma

Author: K.B. Verma

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#36. The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia

the-great-railway-bazaar-paul-theroux

Author: Paul Theroux

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#37. The Great Indian Railway Romance (Kindle Edition)

the-great-indian-railway-romance-rajendra-aklekar

Author: Rajendra Aklekar

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#38. My Derailments With Truth

my-derailments-with-truth-ateesh-singh

Author: Ateesh Singh

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#39. Resurgent Railways

Author: Dr. Rajinder Kumar Malik

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#40. Tracking Modernity: India’s Railway and the Culture of Mobility

Author: Marian Aguiar

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#41. Army Express: A Great Indian Train Travel Story

Author: Wingston Mathews

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#42. Railways of India

Author: J. N. Westwood

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#43. Railways in Modern India

Author: Ramswarup D Tiwari

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#44. Tracks of Change: Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India

Author: Ritika Prasad

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#45. Railways in India, by an Engineer

Author: Anonymous

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#46. Railway Construction in India

Author: S. Settar, Bhubanes Misra, A.G. Lal

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#47. Light Railways in India 1899: Description & Maps (Kindle Edition)

Author: DC Robinson

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#48. To Kerala and Beyond on the Konkan Railway: South West India, Kerala and Goa by Train (Kindle Edition)

Author: Keith Harris

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#49. South Indian Railway: In 1900 (Kindle Edition)

Author: DC Robinson

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#50. History of Railway in Rajasthan (Kindle Edition)

Author: Dr. Mohanlal Gupta

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#51. Indian Railways

Author: MA Rao

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#52. Strangers in My Sleeper: Rail Journeys and Encounters on Indian Railways

Author: Peter Riordan

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#53. Indian Steam in the 1970s (Kindle Edition)

Author: George Woods

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#54. Railonama

Author: Anupama Sharma

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#55. The Illustrated Guide to the South Indian Railway (Kindle Edition)

Author: South Indian Railway Company Ltd. 

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#56. Memoirs of a Railway Man: Life on Rails (Kindle Edition)

Author: MK Rao

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#57. Palace on Wheels: A Royal Train Journey

Author: Dharmendar Kanwar

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#58. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: India 1921 (Kindle Edition)

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: India 1921

Author: DC Robinson

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#59. Bridges and Crossings: Meeting to Part and Parting to Meet

Bridges and Crossings: Meeting to Part and Parting to Meet

Author: Meera Sundararajan

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#60. Whistling Steam: Romance of Indian Rails

Whistling Steam: Romance of Indian Rails

Author: Dileep Prakash

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#61. A Journey to Shimla by Toy Train 

A Journey to Shimla by Toy Train

Author: Sumit Raj Vashisht

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#62. How the Railways Came to India

How the Railways Came to India

Author: Anuradha Kumar

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#63. Bankruptcy to Billions: How the Indian Railways Transformed

Bankruptcy to Billions: How the Indian Railways Transformed

Author: Sudhir Kumar, Shagun Mehrotra

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#64. Railway Man – An Engineer’s Memoir

Railway Man - An Engineer's Memoir

Author: RR Jaruhar

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#65. Darjeeling Revisited: A Journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling Revisited: A Journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Author: Bob Cable

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#66. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR): From Lifeline to Oblivion

Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR): From Lifeline to Oblivion

Author: VM Govind Krishnan

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#67. From Earth to Sky: A Photographic Journey on the Kalka – Shimla Railway

From Earth to Sky: A Photographic Journey on the Kalka - Shimla Railway

Author: Sanjay Kaushal, Shubh Mohan Singh

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#68. Bullock Cart to Bullet Train

Bullock Cart to Bullet Train

Author: J S Mundrey

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#69. The Storyteller on Tracks

The Storyteller on Tracks

Author: Soumita Roy

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#70. Steam: India’s Last Steam Trains

Steam - India's Last Steam Trains

Author: Mark Tully, Stephen Dupont

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#71. Relics of the Raj

Relics of the Raj

Author: CJ Gammell

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#72. The Imperial Way – Making Tracks from Peshawar to Chittagong

The Imperial Way - Making Tracks from Peshawar to Chittagong

Author: Paul Theroux, Steve McCurry 

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#73. Darjeeling’s Wonderful Railway

Darjeeling's Wonderful Railway

Author: David Charlesworth, Richard Wallace, David Churchill, and Others

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#74. Narrow Gauge Railways – Two Feet and Under

Narrow Gauge Railways - Two Feet and Under

Author: Leslie S. Robertson, Andrew Neale

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#75. Indian Railways – One Hundred Years 1853-1953

Indian Railways - One Hundred Years 1853-1953

Author: JN Sahni

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#76. Trains at a Glance (July 2019 – June 2020 Edition)

Trains at a Glance 2019-2020

View PDF Version | View Table Index

So, there goes my list of 76 popular and most-read Indian Railways books. How many have you read till now? How many are you planning to order? Is there any book that I have missed out on?

Please do let me know in the comments below. Also, do check out my article on the 25 most popular books to explore India.

6 comments

  1. Thanks for this interesting list.

    I am a railwayman by profession and I like to collect and read books about railways in different parts of the world. I have read 12 books out of the list and reviewed 7 of them on Amazon India.

    May I also add a few books to the list:
    1. R.R.Bhandari (2005) Indian Railways: Glorious 150 Years
    2. Christian Wolmar (2017) Railways & the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India
    3. Seema Sharma (ed) 2014) India Junction: A Window to the Nation
    4. Andrew Martin (2013) Night Train to Jamalpur
    5. M.A.Rao (1988) Indian Railways
    6. Paul Theroux (1975) The Great Railway Bazaar
    7. Ian J.Kerr (ed) 27 Down: New Departures in Indian Railway Studies
    8. R.R.Bhandari (1981) Locomotives in Steam
    9. Ashwani Lohani ( ) Smoking Beauties: Steam Engines of the World
    10. Bill Aitkens (1974) Exploring Indian Railways
    11. J.N.Sahni (1953) Indian Railways: One Hundred Years 1853-1953
    12. Roopa Srinivasan, Manish Tiwari and Sandeep Silas (eds) (2006) Our Indian Railways: Themes in Indian History
    13. Khushwant Singh (1956) Train to Pakistan

    1. You are welcome, Mr. Sinha. I am glad you liked this list and I would also like to thank you for sharing 13 more books. I will check if these are available online and then will either update the same article or write a new one. Meanwhile, I am railfan myself and if you don’t mind, I would like to connect with you offline. Please let me know if that’s fine with you.

  2. One of the best books on IR is 100 Years of Indian Railways by J N Sahni brought out to celebrate the centenary of Indian Railways.

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