Indian Railways registered its highest ever freight loading and earnings during the month of August, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian Railways’ freight loading during August 2021 stood at 110.55 million tonnes, 16.87 per cent higher than 94.59 million tonnes in August 2020.
“Indian Railways also earned Rs 10,866.20 crore from freight loading during August 2021 which is 20.16 per cent higher compared to August 2020 (Rs 9,043.44 crore),” a release from the Ministry of Railways said.
The railways transported 47.94 million tonnes of coal, 13.53 million tonnes of iron ore, 5.77 million tonnes of pig iron and finished steel, 6.88 million tonnes of foodgrains, 4.16 million tonnes of fertilisers, 3.60 million tonnes of mineral oil, 6.3 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker) and 4.51 million tonnes of clinker, among others, during August.
The onset of COVID-19 pandemic last year led to suspension of train services across the country during nationwide lockdown. While many passenger trains have since been restarted, not all trains have been restored. The ministry said railways has used the pandemic as an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances.
“The speed of freight trains has been enhanced in the existing network. Freight trains speed improvement leads to saving of costs for all stakeholders. Freight trains speed has doubled during last 19 months,” the release said.
Besides, a number of concessions and discounts are also being given to make freight movement through railways attractive, it added.