What will the future look like?

Indian Railway

Part IV

The Ripple Effect 

INDIAN RAILWAYS – An institution of ushering new industries across India.

Indian Railway is one of most important part of Indian Economy with revenue of $21 Billion. It has also 4th largest railway network in the world. It employs 1.3 million people which makes it 9th largest commercial employer in the world. That means Indian Railway is a huge reservoir of opportunities which we will see as we go ahead with this article.

Railways are the cheapest and quickest method of transport in human history. There are fourteen public undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, Government India.

Indian railway runs partly on electricity and partly on Diesel. Indian Railways consumes a huge quantity different like fuel, Water, Iron, plastic, food materials etc. which generates an indirect employment of huge chunk of human resources of India.

Railways also play a vital role in National Integration. It has knit India together by connecting all the regions, and almost all the states, in a single transport network.

It is estimated that India’s GDP is to exceed US$ 2 trillion (Rs. 90 lakh Crore) by the year 2020. With GDP at this level, Indian Railways has the potential to grow to around Rs. 2,70,000 Crore i.e. 60 billion US dollar of revenue from around Rs. 90,000 Crore at present.

The next thing that will come out of it will be indirect employment and emergence of new Industries due to new changes coming up, which may reach up to $60 billion.

The New government led by Mr. Narendra Modi has proposed many initiatives to develop Indian Railway a world class facility in a phased manner. The bullet train network i.e. famously termed as DIAMOND QUADRILATERAL OF INDIA will soon be a reality.

Due to its vastness, Government of India holds a separate budget for Indian Railways.

Current Railway budget promotes many things and few of them are

  • Introducing Bullet Trains in India for First ever time in history.
  • Setting up of a Railways University for technical and non-technical studies.
  • Creating “SHE SQUADS” for safety and help of women passengers.
  • Creating 0.5 million Jobs through direct and indirect employment.
  • Setting up Wi-Fi Zone in A1 and A class stations.
  • Creating work stations in selected trains.

Since Indian Railways has a vast network, which means it’s an important national asset. And an asset need be protected in order to be used smoothly round the clock.

Though Indian Railways have a vast Railways Protection Force, however, it has yet not met the expectation of people and tourist. To make it world class the government needs to be set up a separate Institute to study on protecting this national asset.

To make the railway travel safe, we can create a separate branch and study of Railway Tracking and Management System. Safety is so sensitive word that can make or break the Railways reputation. Digitization of train Engines will avoid collisions and will boost confidence among travellers.

After achieving 100 % goal on above parameters of Safety and protection of Railway Passengers, Railway can move to boost its role in tourism.

Let’s have a case study on European initiative to make the railway networks in Europe as a source of Job creation and tourism.

We all know about Euro rail. In 1959, 13 European countries came together & formed an association called Eurail Community. Now it has 24 participating countries. The purpose of which was to encourage tourism. It came into existence to cater to the increasing number of tourists from North America, especially USA. In 1972, the Inter Rail pass was introduced for residents of Europe and North Africa. It is famously known as Eurail Pass.

In 2001, Eurail community became a “Company”, legal entity registered in Luxembourg and Head Office in Utrecht, The Netherlands. More than 400,000 people used Eurail passes which generated revenue of approximately US$ 169 million. Euro rail stretches over 1, 74,000 miles and connects about 26 countries. To promote tourism this vast network got Scenic trains, several railway stations were in themselves architectural showpieces and it goes many different cultures across Europe and that’s with single railway Pass. It promotes itself as – “All of Europe is at your fingertips when you’re a Eurailpass ticket holder”.

After this case study we came to know that European countries utilized their vast railway network for promoting tourism and side by side job creation. It can also be implemented in Indian Railways too. India has a large diversity than ever any region in the world with thousand of local languages and with many different cultures. Hence, In India it can be “One Rail Pass will get you through thousand different languages, territories and cultures”.

Some ideas to generate revenue and boost economy

  • By connecting railways to all international and national Airports of India. This will give airline passengers/tourists a direct access to India.
  • By connecting railways to all major Ports to speed up cargo carrying facility.
  • By creating amusement parks, cinema theaters, around all major railways stations to convert railway travel more comfort, memorable. This will also convert Railway station area entertainment zone, which will not only attract passengers but also local residents and in turn it create huge job opportunity and revenue.
  • By introducing scenic trains.
  • Also by introducing exclusive theme trains , which will got many different themes like Jungle theme where a tourist/passenger journey in the train with experiencing natural beauty and jungle life. Desert theme which let the passenger experience dessert in the train. European theme. Space theme etc. and no doubt this will generate lots of revenue.
  • By connecting railways to major Hospitals and also setting Railway Passenger Hospital in major stations. Also introducing  health coaches in trains will help the passengers in the mid of his/her journey.
  • By setting under water excursion train in several major lakes of India.
  • By creating a National Railway Fund with listing it in major stock exchanges in the world will help rejuvenate the Railway industry as well as the investor.

I am sure many more to come in future. The time is not far where Indian railways will generate more than 300 billion US dollar through direct and indirect transactions.

Let’s be the part of the journey!!!

Read Part I of the Indian Railway here

Read Part II of Indian Railway here

Read Part III of Indian Railway here