Compare and contrast the merits and demerits of Roadways with those of Railways

Compare and contrast the merits and demerits of Roadways with those of Railways.

Roadways v/s Railways

  • Construction cost of roads is much lower than that of railway lines and construction time is also comparatively less.
  • Roads can traverse comparatively more dissected and undulating topography which is a limitation in case of railways.
  • Roads can negotiate higher gradients of slopes and as such can traverse mountains like the Himalayas, whereas the mountainous regions are unfavourable for the construction of railway lines due to high relief, sparse population and lack of economic opportunities. Likewise, it is difficult to lay railway lines on the sandy plains in the deserts, swampy or forested tracks.
  • Road transport is economical in transportation of few persons and relatively smaller amount of goods over short distances whereas railways are suitable for transportation of large number of people and goods in bulk, especially over long distances.
  • Roadways provide door-to-door service, thus the cost of loading and unloading is much lower but railways have not reached everywhere, still there are places which are yet to be connected with the railways.
  • Road transport is also used as a feeder to other modes of transport such as they provide a link between railway stations, air and sea ports. On the other hand railways work as a life line for the economic growth of a country as they carry raw materials and produced goods from one part of the nation to another on a large scale.