Indian Railways progressing towards higher revenues, breaks own records

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Recording the highest ever revenues of INR 2.31 lakh crore, the Indian Railways is moving fast towards higher records each year. The aforementioned are consolidated revenues from freight and passenger movement in 2022-23, showing a 28% growth from last year. This is also a rare occasion when the national transporter’s revenue from these two key segments has also surpassed the revised estimate of INR 2.29 lakh crore.

The data available on railway ministry’s dashboard ‘Raidrishti’ (till March 31) shows transportation of around 1,512 million tonnes (MTs) of freight – in contrast to 1,416 MTs last year – which is the maximum ever and also more than the revised estimate of the year ended 31 March 2023.

A majority of the freight transported via the rail network comprised of coal and coke for thermal power plants. They contributed the most in terms of tonnage as well as revenue. On the other hand, the rate of increase in percentage terms was maximum for chemicals and manures.

While there has been a trend of increase in freight movement by rails in recent years, the spike in railways’ revenue was more in both reserved and unreserved passenger categories during 2022-23 as train operation was completely normalised post Covid-19 pandemic. As railways targets to introduce more Vande Bharat and other modern trains, the revenue from passenger segment is likely to increase further.

“We need to increase our revenue to meet operational expenses and also to invest in more projects. Addition of more wagons, electric locomotives and fixing the issues and key projects that delay freight movement will go a long way in increasing the modal share of cargo moved by rails,” said an official.

The increased thrust of getting more cargo to move by railways and introduction of parcel trains is likely to push revenue from freight movement.