Indian Railways is aiming towards trebling its freight-moving ability to carry three billion tonnes of materials by 2030 in sync with an expected swelling of the Indian economy to touch the $10-trillion mark, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Tuesday. “By carrying three billion tonnes of freight by 2030, we also aim to claim 50 per cent of market share of India’s freight movement,” Goyal told reporters.
The last few decades have seen the Railways ceding its market share in freight transportation to the road sector as it came up with propositions more economical than Railways. Over the years, its share of total freight movement has been near 35 per cent.
In the last three years, however, there has been a concerted effort to invest in capacity-building projects. Various route and tariff-rationalisation initiatives have resulted in the transporter carrying more freight to the effect that breaching the 1 billion tonne mark in a financial year has become the new normal. December 2017 saw an incremental seven million tonnes of freight over the figures achieved in the same month the previous year. The Dedicated Freight Corridor project will start getting commissioned in parts by the end of this year.
“We want to bring the charm back to rail travel,” Goyal said.
Railways is also working towards standardising the size of all passenger trains to 22 coaches. This will help in maintenance, capacity adjustments and better turnaround time. “… the length of the platforms will be increased and other related changes will be carried out,” Goyal said.
By the end of this fiscal, an unprecedented 3,500 km of tracks could be renewed.