Indian Railways focuses on freight, invite bids for 90,000 wagons

Considering the growing demand for wagons amid the increased focus on freight transport, the Indian Railways has invited bids for manufacturing and procurement of 90,000 wagons with an investment of Rs 30,000 crore.

Officials inform that this high volume and high-value tender has been floated keeping in mind the expected increase in the type of freight it would get in the next 2-3 years.

Citing an example, officials said, out of the total 90,000 wagons, 42,000 will be the ones used for transporting coal and another 40,000 for ferrying commodities such as cement and foodgrains. Adding that another 8,000 wagons will be procured for transportation of items such as rails and heavy steel products.

“We have set the target to increase the freight loading to 2,024 million tonnes (MT) in 2024 and for that, we need to have enough wagons. This is also going to bring us more revenue and there will also be more investment in railways,” said an official.

As per estimates, the total freight loading is expected to touch 1,400 MTs during the current financial year ending March 31.

Officials say the addition of one MT of freight generates nearly Rs 80-100 crore revenue for railways.

Recently, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said the performance of railways will largely depend on how they increase freight loading.

The railway’s finances are completely dependent on freight as it incurs huge losses in the passenger segment and the earnings from freight are used as cross-subsidy for passenger services.

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