Railways earned Rs 48,642.68 crore in the year, an increase of 5.1%, or Rs 2,362.23 crore, from the previous year.
NEW DELHI: Indian Railways posted record revenue in 2017-18 and the highest revenue growth in three years as the state-run transporter introduced new trains and attracted more passengers.
Railways earned Rs 48,642.68 crore in the year, an increase of 5.1%, or Rs 2,362.23 crore, from the previous year, said Mohammad Jamshed, member (traffic) of the railway board.
“We have not hiked fares and have been able to generate additional revenue by running almost 36,000 special train trips,” Jamshed said, adding that the network had attracted 67.5 million more passengers than it did in the previous year, when traffic had increased by 68 million.
“There has been a decline in terms of number of passengers on the railway from 2012 onwards. This was a cause of worry. In 2015, we made a conscious effort in order to stop that decline. In 2015 we stopped it, in 2016-17 it started increasing and this year again it has increased,” said Jamshed.
Passenger bookings had declined by 0.76% in 2013-14, by 2.32% in 2014-15, and 0.95% in 2015-16. “The decline was primarily in non-suburban and unreserved segment in view of developments in other sectors in terms of metro systems and better road connectivity in and around the major townships. These developments really impacted the short-distance traffic,” Jamshed said.
Traffic growth resumed in 2016-17. Indian Railways recorded a 0.82% increase in the number of passengers in 2017-18, when it added more reserved coaches in many trains to boost capacity .
The official said the increase in revenue and passenger traffic was the result of a “sweating of assets initiative.”
“… we plan to introduce 40 new services and extend 56 trains. During 2017-18, we ran 36,799 special train trips which was 9% more than the number of special train trips run during 2016-17,” he said.