Infrastructure including logistics takes centerstage as India embarks on its journey towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Currently, the freight modal share is skewed toward roads resulting in increased congestion, pollution and logistics cost escalations. At this juncture, it is important to strengthen the railways for the cost-effective and clean movement of commodities. In order to increase the share of rail freight in the overall modal mix from current 31 percent to targeted 40 percent by 2025, a study on improving the efficiency and share of railways in freight movement was carried out with the support of NITI Aayog, Government of India.

The report comprehensively covers the current performance of railways, initiatives taken to increase freight, global scenario, challenges faced and gaps to be bridged, perceptions of experts and stakeholders, and a roadmap to assist the policy establishment in the process of exercising necessary reforms. Scope and objective of the study include:

• Study the modal share pattern and understand the rail freight patterns
• International benchmarking and best practices in rail freight movement
• Identification of challenges in modal shift to rail
• Interactions with multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem
• Identification of sector-specific opportunities to increase traffic for railways
• Preparation of a roadmap of reforms actionable in short, medium and long term