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Despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Railways managed to carry more freight than even last year’s level. On July 27 the freight loading was 3.13 million tonnes (MT), which was higher than last year for the same date.
Moreover, the average speed of freight trains on July 27 was 46.16 kmph which was more than double as compared to last year for the same date (22.52 kmph). In the month of July, the average speed of freight trains is 45.03 kmph which was almost double as compared to last year for the same month (23.22 kmph).
The West Central Railway with the average speed of 54.23 kmph, Northeast Frontier Railway with the speed of 51 kmph, East Central Railway 50.24 kmph, East Cost Railway 41.78 kmph, South East Central Railway 42.83 kmph, South Eastern Railway 43.24 kmph and Western Railway with the speed of 44.4 kmph led the railway zones in the average speed of freight trains.
On July 27 the total freight loading was 3.13 MT, which was higher than last year for the same date. On July 27, 1,039 rakes were loaded with freight including 76 rakes of foodgrains, 67 rakes of fertiliser, 49 rakes of steel, 113 rakes of cement, 113 rakes of iron ore and 363 rakes of coal.
According to an official press release of the Indian Railways, “these improvements in freight movements will be institutionalised and incorporated in the upcoming zero-based time table. These steps will lead to significantly higher freight traffic and earnings for Railways and cost-competitive logistics for the entire country.”
The Railways has also extended several discounts to make freight movement by rail an attractive proposition.
Asia’s second-largest rail transporter has also utilised the COVID-19 to improve all-round efficiencies and performances. During the nationwide lockdown, the Railways completed nearly 200 infrastructure works.