Regulation in Indian Railways Sector

In: Social Issues

Submitted By skolasani
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Railways sector in India

Indian railways started its 53km journey between Mumbai and Thane on April 16, 1853 and is today one of the largest railways in the world. Indian railway is spread over 109,221km covering 6906 stations. Operating three gauges, trains in India carry over 481 billion ton kilometers and 695 billion passenger kilometers of goods and traffic respectively. Indian railway carries 40% of freight traffic and 20% of the passenger traffic in country. IR is one of the premier infrastructural wings of the economy combining all major functions of a conventional Railway system. It builds and maintains infrastructure assets like Track, Electric traction, Signaling Systems, Telecom network, Stations / Terminals etc. Apart from operating goods and passenger trains, it operates suburban trains in various metros. It manufactures locomotives, coaching stock, wagon and components of rolling stock like Wheel & Axle. It runs workshops to maintain its rolling stock & is also involved in ancillary activities like catering, tourism etc. All the above activities are managed through a strong work force of 1.41 million.

Indian Railway’s operations are characterized by mixed traffic –both passenger and Freight trains share the same track and infrastructure. Passenger trains constitute nearly 70% of the trains run but contribute to less than 35% of the revenue earned, while freight trains constituting only 30% of the trains, make up 65% of the revenue. Like most of the other railways in the world, IR faced a very challenging environment towards the closing years of the 20th century characterized by severe competition from road in freight and airlines, luxury buses and personal vehicles in the passenger segments. Indian railway has been a success story; however, IR needs to be alive to the fact that its freight traffic stands on a narrow base of a few…...

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