The railway service in India has proven itself as the forerunner in the transport sector as railways are extensively used for passenger and freight transfer. With thousands of railway stations across the country, Indian railway network is the most affordable, convenient and well-connected network.
The Indian Railways network is spread over some 64,000 km, with 12,000 passenger and 7,000 freight trains plying each day from 7,083 stations carrying around 23 million travellers and 2.65 million tonnes (MT) of goods daily.
The Indian Railways generated revenues of Rs 58,649.83 crore (US$ 10.92 billion) during April-September 2012-13 as against Rs 48,963.19 crore (US$ 9.11 billion) during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 19.78 per cent. While the total goods earnings increased by 24.30 per cent, total passenger revenue earnings grew by 11.15 per cent.
The revenue earnings from other coaching amounted to Rs. 1,510.38 crore (US$ 281.11 million) during April-September 2012. The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during 1st April - 30th September 2012 were 4,274.87 million as against 4,121.99 million during the same period last year, indicating a growth of 3.71 per cent.
The cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into the railways related components sector stood at US$ 246.57 million from April 2000 to July 2012, according to statistics released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
- Public sector miner Coal India Ltd has planned to infuse Rs 7,500 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) to develop railway tracks and auxiliary infrastructure to extract coal from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. The plan would help the company evacuate around 100 MT of additional coal from each of these States. The investment would be spread over 2012-2016
- Indian Railways has recently launched an application namely RailRadar which envisages an interactive map to allow users to track train movements on real-time basis. Such an application has been launched for the first time in India wherein any of the public transport system can be tracked on the internet and mobile. The application has been created by Indian Railways Center for Railway Information System (CRIS) and RailYatri.in
- The Railways and the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have joined hands to open 20 multi-cuisine restaurants at several stations, including New Delhi. The one at the Capital would cost around Rs 5-7 crore (US$ 930, 639.67 – US$ 1.3 million)
Indian Railways has also launched a new luxury train called ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ which would cover tourist destinations across three states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Touted as India's most luxurious train — it is a joint venture (JV) between Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (RTDC) and the Indian Railways. Promising to deliver a truly royal endeavour, the train, having 35 coaches, has on board a spa, gymnasium, specials suites, deluxe saloons and two restro-lounges
- In order to enhance interaction and facility, Railways have included all trains under its online train tracking service, trainenquiry.com, providing updated information about their movements. In addition to that, train movement can also be tracked by sending SMS to 139. All that one has to do is type 'SPOT' and send it to 139