More evidence of the slowdown, not that anyone needs it. The Indian Railways play a key role in the transportation of certain petroleum products, cement and clinker, coal, iron ore and agricultural products. In FY08, volume traffic growth was high at 9% but FY09 has seen growth decelerate. In November’08, volume traffic is up by just 1.3% to 66.6mn tonnes and up by 6.5% to 534.6mn tonnes in the April-November period. No wonder that the railways has left all pretence of holding on to rate hikes and on Dec 10, announced that it is changing the classification of freight on certain commodities. This will lead to an average hike of 6.5-8% in freight costs, according to news reports.