Indian Railways is the world's fourth-largest rail network, with a total track length of nearly 64,000 km. The Indian Railways network transports 18 million passengers and more than two million tonnes (MT) of bulk freight daily.
Indian Railways transports about 40 per cent of India's total freight traffic and 20 per cent of the country's passenger traffic. The freight segment of Indian Railways accounts for about 70 per cent of overall revenues.
Indian Railways has attracted significant attention from overseas players recently due to its successful turnaround to profitability. In 2007–08, its cash surplus before dividend and net revenue amounted to about US$ 6.17 billion and US$ 4.5 billion, respectively. As a result, Indian Railways ranked higher than many fortune 500 companies.
The Indian Railways plans to increase the capacity of its double/ multiple lines from 18,000 km as on December 2009 to more than 30,000 km by 2020. The Indian Railways has launched fuel-efficient, recyclable and low-emission trains to achieve certified emission reduction credits.
The Indian Railways plans to add 25,000 kms of new lines by 2020, with a major increase in public private partnerships (PPPs). Furthermore, it aims to electrify 33,000 kms of its network by 2020. Indian Railways contributes 2.3 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP). Freight traffic has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4 per cent between 2005–06 and 2009–2010, while the passenger traffic has increased at a CAGR of 6.7 per cent in the same period.
According to the Planning Commission’s estimates, the investment in the Indian Railways in the Eleventh Five Year Plan is expected to be about US$ 54.5 billion, as compared to US$ 24.9 billion in the Tenth Plan.Sectoral Presentation (November 2010)
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