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Indian Railways freight loading forecasts growth

Indian Railways freight loading forecasts growth

According to the Indian Railways, the cumulative freight loading up to February 2021 for the ongoing financial year (FY) has surpassed the figures up to February 2020.

Indian Railways transported a total of 1,102.17 million tonne (mn t) freight till the end of February this FY as against 1,102.1 mn t till February 2020.

The Ministry of Railways (MoR) said in a release that on a month-to-month basis, up to 28 February 2021, freight loading was 112.25 mn t, which is almost 10% higher compared to the loading up to February 28 of last year, which was 102.21 mn t. On a day-to-day basis, on 28 February 2021, the freight loading of the railways was 5.23 mn t, which is 36% higher than last year’s loading for the same date, the statement said.

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In February, the average speed of freight trains was 46.09 kmph which is more than twice as compared to last year for the same month (23.01 kmph). Indian Railways earned Rs 11,096.89 crore from freight loading in February—7.7% higher than last year’s earnings for the same period, which stood at Rs 10,305.02 crore.

The National Rail Plan (NRP) forecasts that the share of rail in freight movement across the country will rise to 44% by 2051, increasing by 16% from 28% at present.

Indian Railways is looking to commission the western and eastern dedicated freight corridor (DFC) projects by June 2022. The infrastructure projects are aimed at capacity and speed enhancement for freight.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in Union Budget 2021 that Indian Railways would monetise DFC assets for operations and maintenance. The public private partnership (PPP) model will also be adopted for the construction of sections of DFCs.

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