Indian Railways Registers Record Freight Loading In 2020-21 Fiscal Despite Covid Challenge


Continuing with growth trajectory, Indian Railways has closed the 2020-21 financial year with over 1,232 million tonnes (MT) of goods loading, a record in freight sector, despite the Covid-19 challenges.

In the closing month of this fiscal, the railways has surpassed the last year’s loading of 1,209.32 MT and clocked 1,232.63 MT, a growth of 1.93 per cent.

The public transporter has earned Rs 117,386 crore from freight loading. It is 3 per cent higher than the last year’s earning from freight which was Rs 113,897.20 crore for the same period.

Indian Railways has kept up the momentum of highest-ever loading in consecutive seven respective months from September 2020 to March 2021.

On a mission mode, the railways’ freight loading for the month of March 2021 crossed last year’s loading and earnings for the same period.

In March 2021, Indian Railways loading was 130.38 MT which is 27.33 per cent higher compare to last year’s loading for the same period (103.05 MT).

The railways loading was 130.38 MT which includes 58.57 MT of coal, 16.78 MT of iron ore, 3.67 MT of foodgrains, 2.57 MT of fertilisers, 3.97 MT of mineral oil and 9.56 MT of cement (excluding clinker).

In March 2021, Indian Railways earned Rs 12,887.71 crore from freight loading which is also 26.16 per cent higher compared to last year’s earnings for the same month (Rs 10,215.08 crore).

The railways has given a number of concessions/discounts to attract loadings.

Besides, the speed of freight trains has also registered significant increase in the existing network. Average speed for the freight trains in March 2021 was registered as 45.6 km per hour which is 83 per cent higher as compared to 24.93 km per hour in the same period.

Also, improvements in freight movements will be institutionalised and incorporated in the upcoming zero based time table.

Covid-19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at [email protected].