Indian Railways (IR) has a total route network of about 64,500 kilometers (km) spread across 8,241 stations and operates more than 19,000 trains every day. India has the world's fourth largest rail network, which is the second largest under single management. Over 30 million passengers travel and around 2.8 million tonnes of freight is transported by trains on a daily basis in India.
Indian Railways revenues have expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2 per cent over FY07-FY12. Freight is the major revenue earning segment for the railways, accounting for 72.3 per cent of the total.
Passenger traffic went up by more than 14 times over FY1951-FY11. Increasing incomes, both urban and rural, have made rail travel affordable to a large number of Indians. Urban population in India increased from 17.3 per cent of the total population in 1951 to 31.2 per cent in 2011; this has led to increase in traffic between urban and rural areas in the country. Indian Railways has set a target of having a freight market share of 50 per cent by 2030 from 30 per cent in 2010. With rapid economic growth and increasing industrialisation, freight traffic is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9 per cent during FY11-16 to touch 1,235.2 million metric tonnes (MMT) by FY16.
The Government of India has increased the scope of public-private partnership (PPP), to beyond providing maintenance and other such supporting roles. Government is providing new lines, increasing the rolling stock to build up capacity. In the Railway Budget FY13, Government plans to invest US$ 153 billion in 12th Five Year Plan against US$ 40 billion in 11th Five Year Plan.
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