Reserved seats get full within a few hours/days of the opening of the window and not a little space to stand in ordinary second class coach, thus the situation prevailing in almost all trains throughout the year. Look at the faces of the average person in search of just standing space in the train at Video and picture below, can we do something?
How come, with 200 to 300% overloading in a general coach, still it is a losing proposition for Indian Railways?
The railway is six times more energy-efficient as compared to road because of the fact that rolling resistance is very low in case of steel to steel as compared to tyre on asphalt road. Practically speaking, this should make travel by Rail not only financially viable but sustainable also. The passenger will always demand this advantage to be converted into financial benefit to him.
The cost of infrastructure for road does not fully charge to the passenger but marginally through road tax and toll etc. whereas situation is different in railways where every pie is charged to Railways only. Road transport is inefficient but still subsidized considerably by Government agencies all over the globe. Even with this as a scenario and no price hike for the last many years, Indian Railways could sustain all financial pressures. That indirectly proofs role of Railways towards sustainable development and energy-efficient mass transport.
The railways have not increased fares in the last 7 years, whereas the fare structure of road has increased considerably due to almost double of diesel prices. This involves a deeper study to find ‘how this could be possible’. The fare structure of road and rail was comparable in in 2005-06, therefore, during those years at least, passenger business should have been financially feasible but it was not said so. Why?
It is important for Indian Railways to prove financial viability of passenger travel taking full advantage of the fuel efficiency. Unless it is examined, there cannot be any justification for planning for high-speed travel for which the infrastructure cost is about 10-15 times more. How it can be financially viable.
Ordinary class travel constitutes more than 50% of the total passenger travel and certainly a developing sector, therefore demand for more and more trains every year. Why there are no national or international conferences to discuss these issues to benefit average man?
This is the first step towards passenger amenity to offer standing space to every passenger in the train towards his destination and faster means of issue of ticket.
50% of passenger traffic is hauled by electric and balance by diesel. Line haul cost of passenger traffic by electric traction is 144 as compared to 270 for diesel traction. This is one of the immediate options for sustainability.
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