• A railway regulator, if put in place, can lead the way in drawing up and implementing a fare-rationalization road map. Improvement in facilities, higher frequency and punctuality of trains, ease of travel and transportation, and enhanced safety are essential for Indian Railways to get back volumes.
  • Wages that constituted 35% of gross receipts in FY-08 have swelled to 62% in Indian Railways’s revised budget for FY-18. With such high fixed costs, the only way to improve financial sustainability is to augment capacities without inflating the manpower base, thus tapping the operating leverage to the maximum.
  • To broaden capacities, an aggressive plan to double, triple or quadruple rail lines must be drawn up and carried out.
  • The roll-out of dedicated freight corridors (DFC) can go a long way in easing traffic congestion, improving speeds, and reducing accidents by segregating freight and passenger trains.
  • By providing customized and efficient logistics services with faster and predictable transit times at low costs, DFCs can help Indian Railways in regaining lost market share. In addition, as freight traffic shifts to these freight-only lines, passenger trains too can see service quality improvement.
  • Thus, work on the two corridors, Dadri-Nhava Sheva and Dankuni-Ludhiana, must be expedited.
  • Also, work on the four other DFC projects should be commenced soon.

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