Railways, being a critical infrastructure of the country, need to expand and develop to keep pace with the rapid growth of the Indian economy. As a result of various initiatives taken during the last couple of years, the Railways have not only met the targets but also exceeded them. The freight and passenger traffic handling by Indian Railways had registered a record growth. The earnings and internal resources generation of the Railways have also increased as a result.
The freight traffic carried by the Railways during April - December 2006, at 527.95 MT was 1.4% lower than the target set for the period, but it recorded a growth of 9.7% over the performance during April-December 2005. The growth rate during April - December 2005 was also 9.7%. During April-May 2006, total earnings of Railways during were Rs.9,669.74 crore, showing an increase 14.2% as compared to the earnings of Rs.8,468.77 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year. The earning from passengers and goods was Rs.2, 823.16 crore and Rs.6, 502.40 crore respectively. The ordinary working expenses during this period were Rs.5, 720.47 crore which were 6.7% less than the expenditure of Rs.6, 132.89 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year. Eleventh Plan growth targets for railways include:
The proposed expansion is based on tangible investment prospects. Expected l public investment in the Railways over the Eleventh Plan is projected at Rs. 2, 80,000 crore. An additional Rs. 20,000 crore is projected to be invested in Metro Rail Projects, bringing the total investment to Rs. 3,00,000 crore at 2006-07 price level or US$ 73.17 billion.