Indian Railways freight loading in July surpasses last year’s level

The freight loading, though picked up in May and June, actually surpassed last year’s level on July 27 when it stood at 3.13 MT. A total of 1039 rakes were loaded as on July 27 which includes 76 rakes of foodgrain, 67 rakes of fertilizer, 49 rakes...

Indian Railways freight loading has surpassed last year’s level after falling in April during the first month of lockdown, signalling revival in the construction, agriculture and power sectors in the economy as majority rakes moved were of coal, cement, iron, steel, foodgrain and fertilisers.

The freight loading, though picked up in May and June, actually surpassed last year’s level on July 27 when it stood at 3.13 MT. A total of 1039 rakes were loaded as on July 27 which includes 76 rakes of foodgrain, 67 rakes of fertilizer, 49 rakes of steel, 113 rakes of cement, 113 rakes of iron ore and 363 rakes of coal, ministry of railway said in a statement.

“This is on the back of improved infrastructure, doubling of freight train speed and waiving off 15% seasonal charge as well as 5% of surcharge on mini rakes, thus bringing down the logistics cost and making it more competitive,” Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said.


Yadav said the aim is to increase freight loading by 50% this year and this would be achieved by further developing infrastructure and rationalsing policies. “Objective is to bring in efficiency in operations by reducing turnaround time for wagons and increasing the average speed of good trains,” he said.

According to Yadav, these improvements in freight movements will be institutionalized and incorporated in the upcoming zero based time table which will lead to significantly higher freight traffic and earnings for Railways and make freight logistics cost competitive for the entire country.

Zero based time-table will see a dedicated corridor for freight trains and passenger trains. “It will bring a paradigm shift in running the freight trains as it would improve the ease of doing business,” he said.
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Government had in Budget this year set a freight loading target for FY21 to 1,265 MT compared to 1208.3 MT achieved in FY’20 while the target for freight earnings for the current financial year is Rs 1,47,000 crore compared to freight receipts of Rs 1,13,481 crore in FY20, which was 64% of total revenue of the transporter during the year. The Railways claim that the speed of freight trains have touched nearly 45 km per hour compared to 23 km per hour earlier.
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