The Indian Railways posted revenue growth of more than 10% in the first quarter, aided by its dynamic fare system for premium trains.
Robust growth in the passenger and freight segments helped the railways boost combined revenue to Rs 43,000 crore in the three months ended June from Rs 38,833 crore in the same period last year.
Revenue in the passenger segment increased to almost Rs 14,000 crore from Rs 12,000 crore a year earlier. “This is the highest ever revenue railways has posted in the passenger segment.
Higher earnings have been driven due to the dynamic fare system for all premium trains. We have launched more premium trains such as Tejas, Humsafar and Uday, which will give a further boost to passenger earnings,” a top rail official said. “During this period, we booked almost 2,100 million passengers.”
Demand for travel in air-conditioned coaches has surged over the past three years, prompting the railways plans to start economy AC trains.
Freight loading also increased, backed by strong demand in transportation of iron ore, steel, food grains and other commodities. The railways transported almost 290 million tonnes of freight between April and June, making Rs 28,000 crore compared with Rs 25,000 crore a year earlier. The remaining revenue came from non-fare segments.
A revenue target of Rs 1.89 lakh crore has been set for the current financial year, of which Rs 1.18 lakh crore is expected from freight, almost Rs 52,000 crore from the passenger segment and the remainder from non-fare sectors.
“The freight loading increases in the period between December and March. We’re hoping to meet the targets for the year,” the official added.
The Indian Railways posted revenue of Rs 1.68 lakh crore in FY17, when it hauled 1.107 billion tonnes of cargo. Railways minister Suresh Prabhu said his aim for this financial year is 1.2 billion tonnes.