Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 14



Rail transportation . Railways are composed of a traced path on which are

bound vehicles. They have an average level of physical constrains linked to the types of locomotives and a low gradient is required, particularly for freight. Heavy industries are traditionally linked with rail transport systems, although containerization has improved the flexibility of rail transportation by linking it with road and maritime modes. Rail is by far the land transportation mode offering the highest capacity with a 23,000 tons fully loaded coal unit train being the heaviest load ever carried. Gauges, however, vary around the world, often complicating the integration of rail systems.

Indian Railways is a departmental undertaking of

Government of India, which owns and operates most of India's rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.
Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometers (71,147 mi)of total

track over a route of 65,000 kilometers (40,389 mi) and 7,500 stations. It has the world's fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China.
The railways carry over 30 million passengers and

2.8 million tons of freight daily. It is the world's fourth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees. As for rolling stock, IR owns over 240,000 (freight) wagons, 60,000 coaches and 9,000 locomotives as per recent statistics.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853.

By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, meter and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities.


A freight train hauls cargo using freight cars

specialized for the type of goods. Freight trains are very efficient, with economy of scale and high energy efficiency. However, their use can be reduced by lack of flexibility, if there is need of transhipment at both ends of the trip due to lack of tracks to the points of pick-up and delivery. Authorities often encourage the use of cargo rail transport due to its environmental profile.

Container trains have become the dominant type

for non-bulk transport. Containers can easily be transshipped to other modes, such as ships and trucks, using cranes. This has succeeded the boxcar (wagon-load), where the cargo had to be loaded and unloaded into the train manually.

The intermodal containerization of cargo has

revolutionized the supply chain logistics industry, reducing ship costs significantly. In Europe, the sliding wall wagon has largely superseded the ordinary covered wagons. Other types of cars include refrigerator cars, stock cars for livestock and auto racks for road vehicles. When rail is combined with road transport, a road railer will allow trailers to be driven onto the train, allowing for easy transition between road and rail.

Bulk handling represents a key advantage for rail

transport. Low or even zero transshipment costs combined with energy efficiency and low inventory costs allow trains to handle bulk much cheaper than by road. Typical bulk cargo includes coal, ore, grains and liquids. Bulk is transported in open-topped cars, hopper cars and tank cars.

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight

transport cargo transport using standard shipping containers (also known as 'ISO containers' or ISO tainers') that can be loaded and sealed intact onto container ships, railroad cars, planes, and trucks. Containerization has revolutionized cargo shipping.

Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported

unpackaged in large quantities. These cargo are usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or solid, into a bulk carrier's hold, railroad car, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body. Bulk cargoes are classified as liquid or dry, but only the latter are normally transported as bulk on rail, the former being freighted in tank cars

It facilitate long distance travel and transport of

bulky goods which are not easily transported through motor vehicles. It is a quick and more regular form of transport because it helps in the transportation of goods with speed and certainty. It helps in the industrialization process of a country by easy transportation of coal and rawmaterials at a cheaper rate. It helps in the quick movement of goods from one place to another at the time of emergencies like famines and scarcity.

It encourages mobility of labor ad thereby provides a

great scope for employment. Railway is the safest form of transport. The chances of accidents and breakdown of railways are minimum as compared to other modes of transport. Moreover, the traffic can be protected from the exposure to sun, rain snow etc. The carrying capacity of the railways is extremely large. Moreover, its capacity is elastic which can easily be increased by adding more wagons. It is the largest public undertaking in the country. Railways perform many public utility services. Their charges are based on charge what the traffic can bear principles which helps the poor. In fact, it is a national necessity.

The railway requires a large investment of capital.

The cost of construction, maintenance and overhead expenses are very high as compared to other modes of transport. Moreover, the investments are specific and immobile. In case the traffic is not sufficient, the investments may mean wastage of huge resources.
Another disadvantages of railway transport is its

inflexibility. It routes and timings cannot be adjusted to individual requirements.

Rail transport cannot provide door to door service as

it is tied to a particular track. Intermediate loading or unloading involves greater cost, more wear and tear and wastage of time. The time cost of terminal operations are a great disadvantage of rail transport.

As railways require huge capital outlay, they may give rise

to monopolies and work against public interest at large. Even if controlled and managed by the government, lack of competition may breed in inefficiency and high costs.
Railway transport is unsuitable and uneconomical for short

distances and small traffic of goods.

It involves much time and labor in booking and taking

delivery of goods through railways as compared to motor transport.

Because of huge capital requirements and traffic, railways

cannot be operated economically in rural areas. Thus, large rural areas have no railway even today. This causes much inconvenience to the people living in rural areas.