States request cancellation of trains, stoppages

Passengers sitting inside a train at the New Delhi railway station following the resumption of partial train services. File.

Passengers sitting inside a train at the New Delhi railway station following the resumption of partial train services. File.   | Photo Credit: -

Indian Railways is making adjustments based on States’ requirements

The Indian Railways on Friday said it had not been able to announce more special passenger trains as the national transporter is already receiving requests from various State governments to either cancel existing trains or to reduce their frequency in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“We are in constant touch with State governments on a real-time basis, and depending on the COVID-19 situation, we are getting requests for the cancellation of a few trains, reducing the frequency of trains, and sometimes cancelling the stoppage of the trains in the State. Based on their requirements, we are making these adjustments,” Railway Board Chairman V. K. Yadav said.

He added that the Tamil Nadu government had requested that seven trains running in the State be cancelled for now; the West Bengal government has asked that the frequency of five trains be reduced; Odisha has sought to cancel some of the stoppages; and Jharkhand has requested that two trains be cancelled for the time being.

“We are running the trains so that essential travelling services are met. At the same time, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation. It is the reason why we have been unable to announce more train services,” Mr. Yadav said while addressing a virtual conference.

Mr. Yadav had on June 26 said the Indian Railways would “very soon” announce more special trains for travellers.

Of the 230 special passenger trains being run, about 80 trains are running at over 100% capacity as of June 26, showing that there is a waiting list to travel in these trains.

Freight focus

With only 230 passenger trains operating, the Indian Railways is targeting an increase in freight loading by 50% over 2019 in order to mitigate some loss of revenue.

“Freight loading has started picking up from June. In July also, we are hardly 20% less than the previous year. Currently, the number of passenger trains being operated is very less… so taking opportunity from this challenge, we have started running more freight trains,” Mr. Yadav said.

While noting that the transport of food grains via the Railways had nearly doubled, Mr. Yadav said the average speed of freight trains has also been increased from 23 kmph to around 45 kmph.

“We should take some advantage of the situation and see that more and more commodities are transported via trains...our target is that at the end of the financial year, we should be able to load around 50% more than last year… so that whatever reduction is there due to passenger revenues, we should be able to cover up with freight earnings,” Mr. Yadav said.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 1:45:27 PM |

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