Commuters stand in the doorways of a crowded local train as it leaves Churchgate railway station in Mumbai
Investment is needed to improve track, rolling stock and delivery times. At present passenger trains manage an average of 50 kph, while freight just 22 kph. Indian Railways has long been regarded as the backbone of the socioeconomic growth of India. The country has the world s fourth largest rail network and the second largest in Asia after China. Indian Railways has recently attracted immense global media and corporate attention due to its turnaround to profitability, and has been consistently recording buoyant growth rates over the last few years as India’s population continues to increase. According to India Railways, the cash surplus before dividend and net revenue were estimated by the government at US$6.17 billion and US$4.53 billion, for 2007-08 respectively. This places Indian Railways in a better position than many Fortune 500 companies.
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