Indian Railways will introduce more train services wherever necessary, but those trains will only run on a reserved basis and will follow all COVID-19 protocols.
The average occupancy of these special trains is nearly 92%.
Out of the 736 special trains that are currently in operation across the Indian Railways network, 327 special trains have passengers on the waiting list! The national transporter said the average occupancy of these special trains is nearly 92%. Railway Board Chairman and CEO V K Yadav was quoted in a PTI report saying that these 327 trains are being monitored daily. Once the nature of the waitlist is determined- for how long and how many days is the waitlist- Indian Railways will run clone trains on those routes. He further said that the national transporter will introduce more train services wherever necessary, but those trains will only run on a reserved basis and will follow all COVID-19 protocols.
Since the lockdown in March, Indian Railways had earned Rs 3,322 crore so far, as revenue from the segment, which is 90% less than what the railways earned during the same period last year. Apart from 736 specials that are being operated, the national transporter is also operating 200 Kolkata Metro services, 2,276 Mumbai suburban train services, 20 special clone trains as well as a total of 436 festival special trains between October 20 and November 30.
According to Yadav, while the overall occupancy of the 736 trains is around 92%, occupancy of 44 trains is between 30% and 50%, 19 trains have occupancy below 30%, 83 trains have occupancy between 50% and 75% and 327 number of trains have waitlisting. The Railway Board Chairman also said besides Mumbai, Indian Railways is geared to begin suburban train services in other cities. For the resumption of suburban train services, discussions are underway with the state governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu in finalizing modalities, he added.
While Indian Railways’ passenger train services have all but stalled, the freight business of the national transporter continues to see high momentum with incremental loading of over 14.32 metric tonne over October 2019. In October 2020, the freight revenue of Indian Railways was Rs 869 crore, the report added.