Keeping India on track: Why the current wave of rail reforms is actually “historic”

One of the most overused adjectives in the context of any new policy update is “historic”. From minor tweaks in operational procedures to significant constitutional changes, the adjective makes its presence felt in print several times throughout any typical week. The last week, however, was anything but ordinary for the Indian Railways. An institution which is often perceived to be slow in matters of institutional transformation has featured consistently in print owing to major transformative initiatives. The first half of the week witnessed the Indian Railways making news for inviting Request for Qualifications (RFQs) for private companies to operate 151 passenger trains on 109 Origin-Destination (OD) pairs of routes. The second half of the week highlighted the mission mode adoption of the Green Railways by 2030 initiative focusing on complete electrification and the incorporation of new and renewable energy resources within the railways to power its extensive infrastructure. It is expected to give a significant boost to the renewable energy sector and at the indigenous production of green energy infrastructure at the same time, a domain which is heavily dominated by Chinese imports.

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