Keeping up the high momentum in freight sector, Covid-hit Indian Railways has surpassed last year’s goods loading by the end of February this year, a record in spite of pandemic challenges.
As of 28 February 2021, the cumulative freight loading was 1102.17 million tonnes (MT) for this year as against 1102.1 MT for the same period last year, according to the Railways data.
Continuing with the growth trajectory in freight, the month of February witnessed increase in loading, earning and speed for the public transporter.
On a monthly basis, the loading was 112.25 million tonnes in February, an increase of almost 10 per cent as compared to the loading for the corresponding period last year.
Railways carried 102.21 million tonnes of goods in February 2020.
The loading crossed 5 MT on 28 February this year as the Railways carried 5.23 MT goods as against 3.83 MT for the same day last year, an increase of 36 per cent.
The average speed of freight trains in February 2021 was 46.09 kmph which is more than double as compared to last year’s 23.01 kmph for the same month.
On 28 February, the average speed of freight trains was 47.51 kmph compared to 23.17 kmph last year for the same day which is also more than double.
Indian Railways has earned Rs 11,096.89 crore from freight loading as against Rs 10,305.02 crore, which is 7.7 per cent higher than the last year’s earnings for the same period.
The national transporter earned Rs 509.44 crore from freight loading on 28 February as compared to Rs 378.56 crore for the same day last year, an increase of 34 per cent.
Railways has undertaken a concerted effort with a number of concessions/discounts to make freight services attractive. Strong emergence of Business Development Units in Zones and Divisions, constant dialogue with the industry and logistics service providers, faster speed among others are adding to the robust growth of freight business for the Railways.
It may be noted that Covid-19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all-round efficiencies and performances.