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Indian Railways (IR) is India’s national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It is run by the government as a public good and manages the fourth largest railway network in the world by size, with a route length of 95,981-kilometre (59,640 mi) as of March 2019. About 61.62% of the routes are electrified with 25 kV 50 Hz AC electric traction while 33% of them are double or multi-tracked.

In the fiscal year ending March 2018, IR carried 8.26 billion passengers and transported 1.16 billion tonnes of freight. In the fiscal year 2017–18, IR is projected to have revenue of ₹1.874 trillion (US$26 billion), consisting of ₹1.175 trillion (US$16 billion) in freight revenue and ₹501.25 billion (US$7.0 billion) in passenger revenue, with an operating ratio of 96.0 percent.

Indian Railway (IR) runs more than 20,000 passenger trains daily, on both long-distance and suburban routes, from 7,321 stations across India. The trains have a five-digit and four-digit numbering system. Mail or Express trains, the most common types, run at an average speed of 50.6 kilometres per hour (31.4 mph). Most premium passenger trains like Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express run at a peak speed of 140–150 km/h (87–93 mph) with Gatiman Express between New Delhi and Jhansi touching a peak speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). Indian railways also runs an indigenously built semi-high speed train called Vande Bharat (also known as Train-18)” between Delhi and Varanasi or Katra which clocks a maximum track speed of 180 km/h (110 mph). In the freight segment, IR runs more than 9,200 trains daily. The average speed of freight trains is around 24 km/h (15 mph). Maximum speed of freight trains varies from 60 to 75 km/h (37 to 47 mph) depending on their axle load with “container special” trains running at a peak speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

As of March 2019, Indian Railways’ rolling stock consisted of 289,185 freight wagons, 55,258 passenger coaches and 12,108 Diesel and Electric locomotives. IR owns locomotive and coach-production facilities at several locations in India. Being the world’s eighth-largest employer, it had 1.227 million employees as of March 2019.

The government has committed to electrify its entire rail network by 2023, and become a “net-zero railway” by 2030. So far Indian Railways has electrified 39,866 RKMs which accounts for about 63% of total Route Kilometers on Indian Railways. Presently about 57% of passenger traffic and about 65% of freight traffic is being carried on electric traction. It is planned to electrify all BG routes of IR by 2024.

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