Goods wagons are primarily meant for the carriage of goods traffic. Indian Railways presently has a stock of about 0.29 million goods wagons with a haulage capacity of about 10 million t. These goods wagons mostly consist of covered and open wagons as well as special wagons such as BOX wagons for carrying coal and other bulk traffic.
Until the middle of the last century, practically all the goods traffic was transported in general-purpose wagons or in covered, open high-sided, and open low-sided wagons. The standard wagon on the broad gauge was a four wheeler with a 22.19 t haulage capacity, while the standard wagon on the metre gauge weighed 5.69 t and had the capacity of carrying 18.69 t of goods. Recently, a number of new bogie wagons have been designed and put into service, which lay emphasis on a higher payload and on the provision of facilities for the loading and unloading of special type of traffic. These include the BOX, BCX, BOBX, BOY, BOXN, CRT, wagons, etc. It has been decided that only bogie wagons will be put into service on the Railways, as the four wheeler wagon is a non-viable unit in the present context of the bulk movement of commodities. In the above-mentioned classification of wagons, B stands for bogie wagon, C for centre discharge, O for open wagon, X for high-sided (also for both centre and side discharge), and Y for low-sided walls. N is used for air braked, C for covered wagon, R for rail-carrying wagon, and T for transition coupler. The B indication is sometimes omitted as all new wagons are bogie stock.