Rail safety is an increasing concern for major railway networks in the world and India records 838.03 billion passengers per kilometer annually accounting to 2,556 deaths over 20 years. This is equivalent to one death per 6.6 billion passengers per kilometer.
The Indian government in 2015 announced an investment of over US$137 billion to upgrade and improve the train railways and services as part of its safety measures. The Indian Railway is currently the world’s fourth largest railway network just behind the United States, Russia, and China. The safest railway network in the world belongs to China, which records 876.22 billion passengers per kilometer annually, accounting to 317 deaths over 20 years. This is the lowest number of death in comparing with other countries with one death per 55.3 billion passengers per kilometer. On the other hand, United States records the least safest railway network with 27.26 billion passengers per kilometer annually accounting for 159 deaths over 20 years.
This massive network operates more than 20,000 passenger trains daily on both long-distance and suburban routes from 7,349 stations across India. Remarkably, the total distance covered by Indian Railways daily equals three and a half times the distance to the moon. The 67,368 kilometer route ferries approximately 25 million people each day, which is more than the entire population of Australia.