Indian Railways has a total route network of about 64,600 kilometers (km) spread across 7,146 stations and operates more than 19,000 trains every day. Over 30 million passengers travel by trains on a daily basis in India and around 975.2 million tonnes (MT) of freight was transported via trains in FY12.
The revenues of Indian Railways are expected to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1 per cent during FY07-14. Freight is the major revenue earning segment for the railways, accounting for 70.6 per cent of the total revenues in FY12.
Passenger traffic went up by more than 15 times over FY1951-FY12. 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.
With rapid economic growth and increasing industrialisation, freight traffic is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6 per cent during FY12-17 to touch 1,405 million metric tonnes (MMT) by FY17. Indian Railways has set a target of having a freight market share of 50 per cent by 2030 from 30 per cent in 2010.
The Government of India is investing heavily in building rail infrastructure in the country and plans to invest US$ 153 billion during the 12th Five Year Plan.