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India: Rapid Transit
Country Study > Chapter 6 > Character and Structure of the Economy > Transportation > Rapid Transit


India also has two rapid-rail systems and a third in the planning stage. The most advanced is the world-class metro system in Calcutta that opened in 1984 and carried 50,000 passengers daily in 1992-93. It uses Indian-made subway cars that run on the initial ten kilometers of what will be a 16.5 kilometer-long, seventeen-station (eleven stations were in service in 1995) route scheduled for completion in 1995. Plans for more than sixty additional kilometers are on the books. Calcutta is also served by a seventy-seven-kilometer-long tramway network, which is to be phased out because of large annual losses despite a government subsidy. In 1992 Calcutta Tramways started running more reliable buses on some routes.

Rapid transit systems are also in operation or being planned for Madras and New Delhi. The Madras system opened 8.5 kilometers -- of a planned 21.7 kilometers -- of single-track service in 1991, using broad-gauge Indian Railways electric multiple-unit vehicles. When completed in 2011, the New Delhi system, in the planning stages since the late 1980s, will include some 220 kilometers of underground and elevated track and a light-rail system of 300 kilometers. In 1994 the Ministry of State for Surface Transport tendered bids for the first phase, a 167-kilometer elevated high-speed tram system to operate on nine corridors throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Bombay is served by a suburban rail network that began operation in 1992.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

India Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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