The Indian Railways is one of the largest developed networks in the world. The Indian Railways—premier transport and logistics organisation of the country—is also one of the largest rail networks in Asia.
It runs through the country covering over 64,015 route km, carrying 18 million passengers a day on 17,000 trains, according to the Railway Budget 2010-11.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into railways related components has been US$ 109.93 million between April 2000 and September 2010.
Further, the total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April – 31st October 2010 were US$ 11.70 billion compared to US$ 10.86 billion during the same period last year, registering an increase of 7.73 per cent. The total goods earnings have gone up from US$ 7.3 billion during 1st April – 31st October, 2009 to US$ 7.78 billion during 1st April – 31st October 2010, showing an increase of 6.70 per cent. The total passenger revenue earnings during the first seven months of the financial year 2010-11 were US$ 3.34 billion compared to US$ 3.06 billion during the same period last year, registering an increase of 9.13 per cent, according to a release by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) dated November 11, 2010.
The Railways has generated US$ 7.53 billion of revenue earnings from commodity-wise freight traffic during April-October 2010 as compared to US$ 7.07 billion during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 6.58 per cent. Railways carried 516.91 million tonnes (MT) of commodity-wise freight traffic during April-October 2010 as compared to 501.62 MT carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 3.05 per cent, according to a release by the PIB dated November 16, 2010.
In the Union Railway Budget for 2010-11, presented on February 24, 2010, the Railways Minister highlighted the following: