Touching bullet speeds

India has the fourth-largest railway system in the world, behind only US, Russia and China.

The railway sector of India has 123,542 km of total tracks over a 67,415 km route and about 7,300 stations. The railways run close to 13,523 passenger trains and 9,146 freight trains daily on its network. In the fiscal year ending March 2020, Indian Railways carried 8.1 billion passengers. The railway sector in India has successfully and transported 1.23 billion tonnes of freight in FY 2020-21 which is 1.93 % higher compared to last year’s loading for the same period. Indian Railways is the single largest employer in India and eighth largest in the world; employing close to 1.3 mn people.

  • Vision 2024 has been envisaged to achieve targets of 2024 MT freight loading by 2024
  • Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project sanctioned at a total cost of $15 bn
  • The railway sector of India aims to electrify the entire network by 2023 which will lead to annual energy savings of $1.55 bn
  • Broad gauge railways network stands at 64,689 Route kms, of which 71% is electrified
  • India Railways is focused on 2,843 km dedicated freight corridors by June 2022 and redevelop 123 railway stations into world-class transit hubs
  • Indian Railways has commissioned Wi-Fi at 6,000 Railway stations across the country
  • In order to achieve its green mission, Indian Railways has solarised more than 960 stations across
  • 1806 Kisan Rails run on 153 routes (upto 24.12.2021) and carried around 5.9 lakh tones of agricultural products

100% FDI allowed in railway infrastructure under the automatic route.

For further details, please refer FDI Policy

  • bn

    Annual Estimated Passengers in 2031

  • MT

    Annual Estimated Freight Demand in 2031

  • MT

    Freight Loading by 2024

  • $ bn

    Revenue from freight traffic (2021)

4th largest railway system in the world

4th largest rail freight carrier in the world

Single largest employer in India and 8th largest in the world

Industry Scenario

The Indian Railways' freight revenues in 2021 were worth $16 bn.

The railway sector in India aims to aspires about 1.5% to the country’s GDP by building infrastructure to support 45% of the modal freight share of the economy. The Indian Railways clocked a 3% increase in freight revenue in 2020-21 and the quantum of goods loaded grew by 1.93%.

  • Two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), one on the Western route (Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Dadri) and another on the Eastern route (Ludhiana to Dankuni), have been fast-tracked.
  • The railway sector in India has the highest ever planned capital expenditure of $29.5 bn in 2021-22 
  • The average speed of freight trains has increased to 45.6 kmph in March 2021, marking an 83% increase over the previous year
  • Railway Electrification works completed on a total of 6,015 Route kms during 2020-21


  • Rising passenger & freight traffic

    Increasing urbanization, rising incomes (both rural and urban), growing industrialization across the country along with private sector participation

  • Increasing freight traffic

    Growing industrialization across the country

  • Dedicated freight corridor

    Six high-capacity, high-speed dedicated freight corridors

  • Freight Business Development Portal

    One-stop cargo solution for seamless goods transportation

  • Diamond Quadrilateral network of high-speed rail

    Connecting major metros and growth centers of the country

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan - Self Reliant India

    Special economic and comprehensive package of INR 20 lakh crores towards promoting manufacturing in India


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Asked Questions

What is dedicated freight corridors?

It is a broad gauge freight corridor under construction in India by Indian Railway. There are 2 corridors in the country, i.e. the Western and Eastern freight corridors.

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What is rolling stock?

Rolling stock is all the engines and carriages including the locomotives, passenger coaches, freight wagons, guard's vans, etc. that are used on a railway.

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What do you mean by Diamond Quadrilateral in Indian Railways?

The Diamond Quadrilateral railway project has the mandate to develop high speed rail network across several metros of India. So far 6 corridors have been identified. 
These are:
1) Delhi-Mumbai. 
2) Mumbai-Chennai
3) Chennai-Kolkata
4) Kolkata-Delhi and both diagonals i.e. 
5) Delhi-Chennai.  
6) Mumbai-Kolkata routes.

For more information, click here.

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What are the initiatives taken by the Indian government for the railways sector?

The following reforms have been announced for the railway sector in the Union Budget 2017-18:
1) The GoI will provide INR 55,000 crore ($ 8.25 bn) towards capital and development expenditure of Railways.
2) A fund named Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh worth Rs 100,000 crore ($ 15 bn) will be created, which will be directed towards passenger safety.
3) All the coaches of the Indian Railways will be fitted with bio toilets by the year 2019.
4) Railway lines of 3,500 kms will be commissioned in 2017-18.

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What are the investment opportunities available in railways sector?

The investment opportunities are available in the following areas:
1) Components manufacturing.
2) Infrastructure projects.
3) High speed train projects.
4) Railway lines to and from coal mines and ports.
5) Projects relating to electrification, high-speed tracks and suburban corridors.
6) Dedicated freight corridors.
7) The re-development of railway stations.
8) Power generation and energy-saving projects.
9) Freight terminals operations.
10) Setting up of wagon, coaches and locomotive units.
11) Gauge conversion.
12) Network expansion.

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