Indian Railways entered the 1 billion tonne plus club for the first time last fiscal, and in doing so, they are now the fourth largest freight carrier in the world, after USA, Russia and China.
Indian Railways has joined the rare Billion Tonne Plus Club this fiscal, running neck to neck with some of the more advanced railway networks across the globe. India has the largest rail network in the world while it competes on a similar footing with those of the US, China and Russia.
Indian Railways (IR) has beaten a target of 1007 million tonnes set for financial year 2012-13. In March this year, IR carried 99 million tonnes of freight as against an earlier average of 80 to 85 million tonnes. This took the total freigt carried during the 2012/13 fiscal to 1,009.6 million tonnes. This feat is fourth in line after USA which carried 1,380 million tonnes, Russia at 1,200 million tonnes and China at 1,100 million tonnes.
This achievement is even more noteworthy considering the stringent economic conditions in the country. In the previous financial year, IR missed achieving this target, as they registered 969.8 million tonnes. But this year, they were able to accomplish this feat following change in policies. IR has also increased average speed of goods trains from 22 kmph to 37 kmph and has also added more wagons to existing goods trains means that the IR now carries more freight over longer distances in less amount of time.
Increased demand for coal, iron ore, cement and steel has resulted in the IR building dedicated freight corridors along with international agencies which will change the way in which freight carriers are made faster and more cost efficient in the long run.