New Delhi (JPN/Bureau): The Indian Railways is consistently facing shortage of freight wagons resulting in a decline in its share in freight transport. Apparently, the number of railway wagons in the past nine years has plummeted by nearly 11,000. Yet the freight target is increased every year.

As against the number of 2,22193 wagons in 2000-01, the railways was left with only 2,11,763 wagons in 2008-09. The freight target on the other hand climbed high from 47.4 million tons to 83.3 million tons in 2008-09. Clearly, traffic loading is being done more than per wagon capacity (axle load).

Nevertheless, the share of Indian Railways in goods carriage is much lower than road traffic. In 1951, the share of railways was 65 percent, while that of road was 35 percent. Six decades down the line, the share of railways has declined to 30 per cent and the share of road has increased to 70 per cent.

Shortage of wagons along with limited line capacity have been cited as a few reasons behind the reduced share. Besides, the low customer interest in using railway for baggage transport, slow delivery of goods trains in India and high overhead costs have been few other factors responsible for plight of railways in freight transport.