Railways’ freight services record 3% jump in revenue at the end of 2020-21 fiscal

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The railways’ freight services registered a growth of 2 per cent in loading and a 3 per cent jump in revenue at the end of the financial year 2020-21 over the last fiscal, even though coronavirus-induced lockdown and other restrictions crippled its passenger sector, the national transporter said on Wednesday.

For the month of March, freight loading has seen a 24 per cent increase as compared to March in the last fiscal. While in March 2019-2020, the loading stood at 98.76 MT, in the current fiscal, it stood at 122.19 MT during the same month.

The freight loading for the year ending March 31 stood at 1,224.45 MT, while in the last fiscal, the railways loaded 1,205.04 MT of goods.

Similarly, the railways earned revenue of Rs 12,137.22 crore in March 2020-21, which is a 24 per cent jump from the revenue earned during the last fiscal at Rs 9,806.09 crore.

While in the current fiscal, the national transporter earned Rs 1,16,634.9 crore, it earned Rs 1,13,477.9 crore in the last financial year.

The railways has offered many concessions/discounts to make the movement of goods attractive. Constant dialogues with industry and logistics service providers, strong emergence of the Business Development Units (BDUs) and high speed of such trains have added to the robust fightback of the national transporter amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The freight movement, during the lockdown, has also earned the railways immense goodwill as it introduced parcel services, carrying essentials like milk, medicines and even ventilators.

The idea was if the railways cannot move passengers freely, it can move freight instead.

Applauds galore were received from across the country, that is , from mothers who received medicines for their ailing children, some who received specialised products like camel milk, among others, thanked the railways through social media posts.

Keeping in mind the increasing requirement of freight locomotives in the future, the railways had in January instructed the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) to upgrade 200 of the existing 6,000 HP freight locomotives to 9,000 HP locomotives. Since then, CLW has turned out three such locos, two of which have been commissioned after successful trials.

However, it is not just in loading that the freight segment has benefited amid the coronavirus crisis. The average speed of goods trains have doubled from the previous 23.71 kmph to around 45.36 kmph, the railways added.