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Rail transport in India

Mode of transport in India / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Rail transport in India is an important mode of conveyance for people and goods in India. Indian Railways (IR) is the primary operator of rail operations throughout the country. IR is a state-owned organisation of the Ministry of Railways, which historically had its own government budget. Between 2019 and 2020, 22.15 million passengers used the Indian Railways network daily. In 2021-22, 3.88 million tonnes of freight were shipped daily on the IR network.[1]

Quick facts: Railway Transport In India, Operation, Nation...
Railway Transport In India
National railwayIndian Railways
Ridership8.086 billion[1]
Passenger km1.500 trillion [1]
Freight1.416 billion tonnes[1]
(3.88 million tonnes/day)
System length
  • Route: 68,043 km (42,280 mi)[1]
  • Running Track: 102,831 km (63,896 mi)[1]
  • Total Track: 128,305 km (79,725 mi)[1]
  • (2021-22)
Double track
  • 37,551 km (23,333 mi) (route with multiple tracks) (2023)[1]
  • 58,812 km (36,544 mi) (April 2023)[2]
Track gauge
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge65,093 km (40,447 mi) (2021-22)[1]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge1,225 km (761 mi) (2023)[1]
(Metro rail)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge1,655 km (1,028 mi) (2021-22)[1]
Two narrow gauges, 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft)1,294 km (804 mi) (2023)[1]
Longest tunnelPir Panjal Railway Tunnel, 11.215 km (6.969 mi)
No. bridges156,417 (2022)[1]
Longest bridgeBogibeel Bridge, 4.94 km (3.07 mi)[3]
No. stations7,308 (2021-22)[1]
Highest elevationCurrent: 2,257 m (7,405 ft)
Future: 5,359 m (17,582 ft)
 atCurrent: Ghum (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway)
Future: Taglang La (Ladakh)
Lowest elevation3 m (10 ft)
 atBurra Bazar and Honnavar

Other locally owned public corporations operate various suburban and urban railways throughout the country, such as Chennai Metro and the trams in Kolkata. Private sector operations exist only for freight trains and railroads, exclusively for non-passenger usage. Still, there were renewed efforts in 2020 to encourage private sector involvement in the running of passenger trains.[4]

In March 2022, the national rail network comprised total route length of 68,043 km (42,280 mi), running track length of 102,831 km (63,896 mi) and total track length of 128,305 km (79,725 mi) and 7,308 stations.[5] India's national rail network is the fourth-largest in the world (after those of the United States, China and Russia).[6] 36.83% of routes are double or multi-tracked.[5] As of April 2023, 58,812 km (36,544 mi) of all the routes have been electrified with 25 KV AC electric traction.[2] It is one of the busiest networks in the world, transporting 8.086 billion passengers and 1.416 billion tonnes of freight annually.[1] IR is the world's eighth largest employer, with more than 1.213 million employees as of April 2022.[1] As of April 2022, IR's rolling stock consisted of 318,896 freight wagons, 84,863 passenger coaches and 13,215 locomotives.[1]

The government has committed to electrifying India's entire rail network by 2023–24, and become a "net zero (carbon emissions) railway" by 2030.[7] India plays a supporting role in the improvement of rail infrastructure overseas. As of 2018, India has invested over $1 billion towards upgrading railways and trains in Sri Lanka using 'Make in India' technology.[8] As of 2020, only three rail connections to foreign countries were functioning, two to Nepal and three to Bangladesh, though an 18 km railway link to Bhutan is also under construction and there have been efforts to reinstate the historic Boat Mail train to Sri Lanka.[9][10]

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