A WAP5 locomotive
The Indian Railways manufactures a lot of its rolling stock and heavy engineering components, largely for economic reasons, as important rail technology comes at a high price. The general state of the national engineering industry as matured over the past century and a half.
The ministry directly manages Production Units, the manufacturing plants of the Indian Railways. The General Managers of the PUs report to the Railway Board. The Production Units are:
• Central Organization For Railway Electrification, Allahabad
• Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan
• Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi
• Diesel Locomotive Works, Ponmalaipatty, Tiruchirapalli
• Diesel-Loco Modernisation Works, Patiala
• Integral Coach Factory, Chennai
• Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala
• Rail Wheel Factory, Bangalore
• Rail Spring Karkhana, Gwalior
• Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Bangalore
BEML, although independent of the railways, manufactures coaches for IR, Metro coaches for DMRC, and cars for Bangalore Metro.
The New Delhi Metro railway
Many cities have their own dedicated suburban networks to cater to commuters. Currently, suburban networks operate in Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune. Hyderabad, and Pune lack dedicated suburban tracks but share the tracks with long distance trains. New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata have their own metro networks, namely the New Delhi Metro, the Chennai MRTS- Mass Rapid Transport System, same as other local EMU suburban service as in Mumbai and Kolkata etc., but with dedicated tracks mostly laid on a flyover and the Kolkata Metro, respectively.
IR carries a huge variety of goods ranging from mineral ores, fertilizers and petrochemicals, agricultural produce, iron & steel, multimodal traffic and others. Ports and major urban areas have their own dedicated freight lines and yards. Many important freight stops have dedicated platforms and independent lines.
Indian Railways makes 70 percent of its revenues, and most of its profits, from the freight sector, using these profits to cross-subsidise the loss-making passenger sector. Competition from trucks which offer cheaper rates has seen a decrease in freight traffic in recent years. Since the 1990s, Indian Railways has switched from small consignments to larger container movement which has helped speed up its operations. Most of its freight earnings come from such rakes carrying bulk goods such as coal, cement, food grains and iron ore.