Setting up Railway Networks goes back to British Rule in India. In those days Railways were setup more for moving their goods across India. English people set up Broad Guage, Meter Guage and Narrow Gauge Lines.
Post independence, India has slowed down the laying of Railway Tracks but number of trains and commercial goods movement has increased. Most of the development of tracks is in Broad Guage category.
Most of you would also have seen Trains running on Narrow/Meter Guage tracks. If they are passenger trains, you would have seen that almost that there is 70% vacancy in them. And in these tracks there are hardly any goods movement. Now look at the costs of managing these tracks, trains:
1) Train Driver Salaries
2) Railway Crossing Personnel Salaries (90% of the time they are idle)
3) Maintenance Contractors to maintain these tracks
4) Station Masters, Peons, Ticketing Personnel, Station Cleaners etc
5) Tracking/Signal Managers
There are tracks where only 2 passenger trains run(1 in morning and 1 in evening) in entire day and nothing else. These trains have only 10 travelers. If they spend on average Rs. 50 per one side. You are looking at Rs. 1000 daily revenue from this (Rs. 30,000 per month). Suppose there are 7 Stations(5 people at each station including station master, ticketing guy, etc), 15 Railway Crossings (1 person each), Maintenance Contractors(4 overall for the line), 4 Signal Managers, 1 Driver and Guard for the train. Suppose each have average salary of Rs. 5000 per month, you are looking at Rs. 3,00,000 expenses min per month. Plus costs to run the train i.e fuel, maintenance of engines, coaches, etc plus pension allocation, etc. Monthly expenses will easily cross over Rs. 5 Lakhs with income around just Rs. 30,000.
While everyone is working hard day-in day-out, this is waste of taxpayers money. Who would run a business if it has such financials/cash-flow? Shouldn’t government stop these trains and convert these tracks in roadways ?