Despite the pandemic and its impact on all sectors, Central Railway (CR) has created a new record of its earnings through goods transportation in the first half of the current financial year.
During the period from April to September 2021 (first half of financial year 2021-22), Central Railway loaded 34.85 million tonnes and earned Rs 3,289 crore, registering a 35.6 per cent rise in loading of freight in its goods trains as compared to the previous financial year.
In the first half of last financial year, 25.71 million tonnes of goods were transported by the CR through its goods trains.
Freight traffic is the major source of revenue for Indian Railways. Only one-third of the around 13,000 trains running daily on Indian Railways are freight trains, but it accounts around 65% of the total revenue.
"Railway Freight traffic is not only vital for economic and industrial progress of the country, but it also provides funds for operation of more passengers trains," said a senior officer of CR, adding that most of passenger trains including suburban trains of Mumbai are operating in a loss, which is compensated with the revenue from goods trains.
"Currently only around 57 per cent of the travel cost of passenger trains is being charged to the commuters. The remaining 37 per cent of the cost is recovered from the freight trains revenue," said a CR official.
Major commodities ferried by CR during Apr-Sept 2021 include coal (18.24 million tones), containers (4.79 million tonnes), cement (3.47 million tonnes), iron and steel (1.41 million tones), sugar (1.07 million tones), onions (0.50 million tonnes) and automobiles (0.29 million tones).
Anil Kumar Lahoti, General Manager, Central Railway said that freight transportation by rail is the safest, quickest and environment friendly option available for customers. He also said that Central Railway is exploring all possible ways to increase revenue.
"Despite heavy rains and Covid-19 situation, the team CR put their best to achieve the highest ever loading of 5.44 million tonnes for the month of Sept 2021. This is best ever September month freight loading and this year, we also set a new record of highest ever April -September freight loading in CR" said Shivaji Sutar, Chief public relation officer of CR.
"Central Railway loaded 5.44 million tonnes of freight in September 2021 alone which is also the best loading ever of any September month loading," said a CR official.
Asked about the key factors behind this success a senior officials of CR said, "Newly formed Business Development Units (BDUs) have brought in new commodities like Gypsum, Ammonia Gas, Galvanised Steel Coil, Mill Scale, Carbon Black Feed Stock from Mumbai Division, Nut Coke (Metallurgical Coke) from Nagpur Division. The first time transportation of Sugar to Darshana railway station in Bangladesh from Gurumarket in Pune Division and first ever loading of fertilizer from Ahmednagar in Solapur Division to CR’s freight basket has also helped in achieving this stupendous feat".
"Central Railway has also commenced loading of dwarf container trains from JNPT which will help increase in volume when double stacked. It also gives a competitive cost advantage and lower hinterland logistics" added officials.
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