The Ministry of Railways in India has announced a visionary plan to eradicate waiting lists within the next 4-5 years. This initiative, backed by a substantial investment of Rs 1 lakh crore, aims to acquire 7,000-8,000 new train sets over the next 15 years, primarily targeting the burgeoning demand in the general and sleeper-class coaches.
Data analysis from April to October 2023 reveals a significant shift in passenger distribution, with non-AC coaches dominating the landscape. General and Sleeper classes, accounting for a remarkable 95.3% of total passengers carried, witnessed a substantial increase of 38 crore passengers compared to the previous year. This underscores a clear trend toward more budget-friendly travel options. In contrast, AC coaches accommodated 4.7% of total passengers, marking a notable increase of 3.1 crore passengers compared to the previous year.
To address this surge in demand, Indian Railways has taken a proactive stance by expanding its services. A total of 562 additional trains are now operational daily across the Indian Railways network, compared to pre-COVID days. This includes an increase in mail/express trains, suburban trains, and passenger trains, resulting in a total of 10,748 trains running each day.
The Ministry’s strategic approach not only tackles the current spike in demand but also lays the foundation for a future where waiting lists become obsolete, promising a seamless and efficient rail travel experience for millions of passengers.