Jan. 31, 2019

Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal launched the report “The Future of Rail” prepared by International Energy Agency (IEA).


  • The Future of Rail Transport and Energy report by IEA highlights the great potential of railways to serve increasing transport demand at contained impact on global energy consumption. 

  • A focus chapter looks at the special role of railways in India, where it is sometimes referred to as the lifeline of the nation. 

Key findings from The Future of Rail: 

  • Rail is among the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers - while the rail sector carries 8% of the world’s passengers and 7% of global freight transport, it represents only 2% of total transport energy demand. 

  • Today, three-quarters of passenger rail transport activity takes place on electric trains, which is an increase from 60% in 2000 - the rail sector is the only mode of transport that is widely electrified today. 

  • The regions with the highest share of electric train activity are Europe, Japan and Russia, while North and South America still rely heavily on diesel. 

Focus on India: 

  • Rail passenger traffic in India has increased by almost 200% since 2000 and freight traffic by 150%. 

  • Yet latent demand for mobility in India remains huge. For example, on average, each Indian travel about 3 kilometres per day by privately owned road vehicle, compared to 17.5 kilometres in Europe. In fact, rail activity in India is set to grow more than any other country. 

  • Today, the conventional rail system in India comprises a total route length of almost 68000 km, shared between passenger and freight transport. 

  • Metro systems exist in 10 Indian cities, with about 515 km of track in operation and an additional 620 km of metro rail under construction. A further 600 km of metro lines are planned for the next few years. 

  • For now, India does not have any high-speed rail. However, in 2015 India and Japan signed an agreement to develop a high-speed rail line connecting the cities of Ahmedabad and Mumbai, to come into operation in 2023. Seven other high-speed lines are currently under consideration. 

Source : PIB