The Indian Railways has set a new record by transporting over 1,160 million tonnes of freight in 2017-18, the highest ever, Hindustan Times has reported.
According to the daily, freight loading by the railways has been on the rise for the last five years. In 2016-2017, the total freight loading was 1,109 million tonnes. The number stood at 1,104 million tonnes in 2015-16. Freight loading rose to 1,095 million tonnes in 2014-15 from 1,051 tonnes in 2013-2014.
Freight earnings account for almost 65 per cent of the revenue of the railways and help the national transporter subsidise passenger fares. However, only one-third of the 13,000 trains running daily are freight trains.
While the railways carried 89 per cent of India's freight traffic in the financial year 1951, it is left with only a 32 per cent share now. To regain its share of India's freight traffic that it lost to roads, the railways is planning to offer special rates for bulk consumers who will give it assured freight traffic on advance payment. The national transporter may offer up to a 5-10 per cent reduction in base charges.
For 2018-19, the railways has set a freight earnings target of Rs 1.22 lakh crore by transporting 1,216 million tonnes of goods.
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