Issues With the Indian Railways
Owned and operated by the government of India, Indian Railways is the world's fourth largest rail network and second largest utility employer. It transports 30 million passengers across 71,000 miles of track on a daily basis. This sheer size and number of passengers of this railroad has led to significant safety issues.
Indian Railways does not possess enough trains to transport passengers safely throughout the country, a problem that leads to many people riding by hanging from the windows of a train or on top of the cars. This has led to several incidents of injury or death, since a person falling from a train hits the ground while under the influence of the train's momentum, leading to significant or fatal injury. People riding atop the train are also sometimes injured or killed by bridges and other overhanging hazards.
Poor condition of trains and railroads
Decrepit railroads and poorly maintained rail cars have resulted in a number of derailments, and antiquated signalling systems occasionally cause train collisions. This problem is especially prevalent in rural areas of the country that are far from more up-to-date metropolitan centers.
A significant contributing factor to the condition of the railroads is a lack of funding. Although the government historically established an allowance for railroad upkeep, the money was often diverted to meet other political needs. In 2001, the Ministry of Railways established a 3.4 billion dollar fund earmarked specifically for improvements and expansion of the railroad, with funds protected from diversion by other people within the government. As part of an exhaustive safety plan, the long-term goal of Indian Railways is to create a company free of employee and passenger accidents by 2013.
Indian Railways is vast in size, and a number of accidents have led to a substantial overhaul of government funding for upgrades and maintenance of the railroad.