Railways’ freight service increased, but passenger revenue dipped

The Economic Survey 2021-22 released on Monday revealed that the Indian Railways has substantially grown its freight revenue and volume, but passenger volume and revenue have dipped due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the period under review.

While earnings from goods carried stood at Rs 11,5738.4 crore, passengers earnings stood at Rs 15,248 crore.

The Economic Survey noted that in FY21, Indian Railways carried 1.23 billion tonnes of freight and 1.25 billion passengers. In addition, despite the pandemic, revenue earning from freight loading was 1230.9 million tonnes in 2020-21 as compared to 1208.4 million tonnes during 2019-20.

But the passenger originating load decreased to 1,250 million in 2020-21 as compared to 8,086 million in 2019-20.

The Railways has also given priority to passenger safety; the number of consequential train accidents came down from 59 in 2018-19 to 55 in 2019-20 (pre-Covid) and further to 22 in in 2020-21.

The Railways has strengthened the agriculture sector, as it has operated 1,841 Kisan rail services, transporting approximately 6 lakh tonnes of perishables, including fruits and vegetables.

The survey said that despite facing the unprecedented Covid related challenges, Railways has not only been able to move millions of people, but also kept the national supply chain running.

On an average, 1,835 track km per year of new track length has been added through new-line and multi-tracking projects from 2014-2021 as compared to the average of 720 track km per day during 2009-14. It has also adopted indigenous new technologies such as KAVACH, Vande Bharat trains and redevelopment of stations to have safe and better journey experience.

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