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Indian Railways Analysis

January, 2017

India has the world's third-largest railway network under single management. It has 2.4 lakh wagons, 63,870 coaches and 9,549 locomotives. Indian Railways operates more than 19,000 trains daily.  As on FY15, Indian Railways had a total route network of 64,600 kilometres spread across 7,172 stations, 12,617 passenger trains carrying over 23 million passengers daily. On the commercial front, 1,101 million tonnes (MT) of freight were transported via trains in FY15, which is expected to increase to 1,186 MT in FY16.

Revenue growth for Indian Railways has been strong over the years. During FY07-15, revenues increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 per cent to reach US$ 26.4 billion in FY15. Revenues are expected to expand at a CAGR of 13.4 per cent during FY07–20E. Freight and Passenger earnings are the two largest components of revenues for Indian Railways. In FY15, Indian Railways generated US$17.7 billion in earnings from commodity freight traffic, much higher than passenger earnings of US$7.1 billion. In the last eight years, revenues from the commodity freight and passenger segment have expanded at a CAGR of 8.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent, respectively. 

The government is also envisaging metro rail projects across many cities over the next ten years. Announcements have also been made for conducting a feasibility study for high–speed bullet train between Mumbai–Ahmedabad. With increasing participation expected from private players, both domestic and foreign, due to favourable policy measures, both passenger and freight traffic is expected to grow rapidly over the medium to long term.

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