Railway Budget 2016-17: Common Terms used in Indian Railway Budget

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will present his second rail budget in a short while from now. Mr Prabhu is expected to outline concrete measures to bolster railways’ finance at a time when revenue collection is under stress, while demand for funds for modernization and improving passenger facilities is on the rise.

Here are some important terms and numbers to understand the rail budget:

1) 88.5 per cent is the operating ratio railways is targeting for 2015-16 fiscal year. In simple terms, it means that the railways wants to spend 88.5 paise for each rupee of revenue. If railways achieves this target, it will be its best performance in nine years.

2) Rs. 1.20 lakh crore is the amount railways is likely to commit for capital expenditure this year. Last year, the plan size was nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore.

3) Rs. 8.5 lakh crore: This is the amount railways wants to spend in five years for its modernization of its infrastructure. To meet the five year target, investments have to speed up.

4) Rs. 28,450 crore is the amount of money railways needs to implement salary hike recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission for 2.6 million railway employees and pensioners.

5) Rs. 40,000 crore is what the railways is likely to get from the central government as budgetary support.

6) Rs. 30,000 crore is the amount of losses railways is likely incur this year on subsidizing passenger fares. Train fares are cross-subsidized by freight fares.

7) 23 million is the number of passengers railways carry every day. That’s equivalent to moving the entire population of the Australia in a day. The railways runs 21,000 passenger and freight trains per day connecting over 7,000 stations across the country.

8) 67 per cent is the contribution of freight in railways earnings. The share of freight carried by railways among total freight carried by all means has declined from nearly 90 per cent in 1950-51 to just around 30 per cent because successive governments have cross-subsidized passenger fares with freight fares. Passenger fares contribute just 26 per cent to earnings.

9) 200 km is the average number of kilometers added per year to rail route since independence. In the last 67 years, just 13,000 kilometers of rail route has been added for a total route of 64,460 kilometers, which is the fourth-largest in the world, but much lower than China’s over 1 lakh kilometers.

10) 13.1 lakh is the number of people railways employs making it the country’s single biggest employer.

Authorised stock-locomotives/vehicles/wagons – This is the sanctioned allotment of stock for a railway and includes stock ordered for or under construction but not handed over to traffic. Stock sold or broken up but not replaced or removed from authorised stock is included. Stock replaced but still running is not included.

Average haul or lead of traffic – represents the average distance each passenger or tonne of goods is transported.

Brake Van – A vehicle provided with apparatus by means of which the movement of the vehicle can be retarded and stopped and used for the purpose of retarding the movement of other vehicles to which it is coupled, also, in some cases, the vehicle from which the braking apparatus on other vehicles is controlled. A vehicle is not reckoned to be a brake van if it provides accommodation for any traffic.

Capital-at-charge – Book value of the capital assets of the Railways.

Capital Outlay – Expenditure of capital nature incurred during the period with the object of increasing concrete assets of a material character.

Cross Traffic – All traffic which neither originates nor terminates on the reporting Railway or on the same section of a gauge for which the return is being prepared.

Departmental Train – Trains run for the Revenue or Capital works of an open line, and also of workmen’s and inspection trains, pilot or patrol trains run in front of trains for the protection of the latter, etc. Railway coal trains are, however, not to be treated as departmental trains.

Depreciation Reserve Fund – This fund provides for the cost of renewals and replacements of assets as and when they become necessary.Pension Fund – This fund was created with effect from 1st April, 1964 to even out the charges and to provide not only for the current payments to retired pension opting staff but also to provide from Revenue/Capital each year the accumulated liability for the pension benefits earned by each pension opting staff for each year of service in the same way as provision is made for Depreciation Reserve Fund (See para 747 of Indian Railway Administration and Finance – An Introduction).

Density – The volume of traffic moving between any two points on the railway system. It is expressed in terms of passenger kilometres or net tonne kilometres and train kilometres per running track kilometre or route kilometre.

Development Fund – This fund was instituted with effect from 1st April, 1950 and is intended to finance expenditure on:

  • Amenities for all ‘users of railway transport’;
  • Labour welfare works costing individually above the new minor works limit;
  • Expenditure on un-remunerative operating improvement works; and
  • Cost of construction of quarters for class III staff.
The fund was instituted w.e.f. 01.04.1950. The appropriation to this fund is from the surplus of the Railway but when the amount of surplus is not adequate to meet the expenditure, a temporary loan is obtained from general revenues (which is returned with interest whenever the revenue is surplus) to the finance. The expenditure to be met out of this fund i.e., expenditure on amenities for the user of the Railway Transport, staff works and re-remunerative operating improvements beyond certain financial limits namely:

DF-I Cost of Works (Construction): Under passenger and other users, amenities like construction waiting room, covers of platforms, drinking water and sanitation facilities, parking facilities, retiring room facilities, bed roll services, construction of Rail Yatri Nivas, computerized reservation facilities etc.

DF-II: Cost of Works under labour welfare, each costing overt Rs.3 Lakhs like hospitals, schools, hostels, sports grounds, holiday homes, welfare centres, community hall, library, institutions etc. If the cost of work under this head is Rs.3 Lakhs or less then it will be charged to OLWR.

DF-III: Cost of works under un-remunerative operating improvements costing over Rs.10 Lakhs like conversion of halt stations into crossing stations, modification of signals, interlocking systems, extension of loop lines at stations etc. If the cost of any work under this head is Rs.10 Lakhs or below it will be charged to OLWR.

DF-IV: Cost of Safety Works.

Empty running – The running of vehicles empty, i.e., without being loaded.

Engine – See ‘locomotive’.

Engine (effective) – An engine effective is one, stored or not stored, in condition for use.

Engine failures – An engine is considered to have failed when it is unable to work its booked train within the prescribed load from start to destination or causes a delay in arrival at destination of a specified period, namely 30 minutes or more in case of passenger trains hauled by diesel electric and electric engines and 60 minutes or more in all other cases due to defective design or material or bad workmanship in shed/workshop or mismanagement by crew or bad water/fuel. (See detailed instructions for compilation of item 13.01 of Statement No. 4-A).

Engine kilometer – An engine kilometer is the movement of an engine, under its own power, over a distance of 1 kilometre.

Engine-under or awaiting repairs – is one being repaired in shop or running shed or awaiting workshop repairs or in transit to and from shed/workshop and also moved dead to and from shed/workshop on mechanical and electrical account (See instructions for compilation of item 3 of Monthly Statement No. 4-A).

Equated track kilometres – Kilometrage of track equated to a standard unit by giving weightage for factors of traffic density, gradient, formation of soil, alignment (curves), rainfall and track connections and layouts. (See instructions for compilation of Annual Statement No.30 in the Manual of Statistical Instructions- Vol.II).

Fare – Money realized by the railways from transportation of persons.

Full Wagon Load – Consignment of goods traffic necessitating the use of one or several wagons without the wagon or wagons having necessarily to be loaded to their full capacity.

Gross Earnings – The true earnings in an accounting period whether actually realized or not.

Gross Receipts – Earnings actually realized during an accounting period.

Gross Tonne Kilometre (excluding weight of engine) – Unit of measure of work which corresponds to the movement over a distance of one kilometre of one tonne of vehicle/wagon and contents excluding the weight of the motive unit.

Gross Tonne Kilometer (including weight of engine) – Unit of measure of work which corresponds to the movement, over a distance of one kilometre of one tonne, including the weight of the motive unit vehicle and contents.

Gross Weight (of a vehicle or a train) – Total weight of a vehicle or group of vehicles equal to the tare plus the load. 26. Hot boxes – Every journal which runs warm necessitating a vehicle, wagon or brake van being detached from a load from the commencement of the journey to its booked destination inclusive, should be considered a hot box. If both journals of an axle run warm, they are to be counted as two hot boxes. (See instructions for compilation of item 10 of Monthly Statement No.4-B).

Length of Electrified Lines – Length of lines provided with an overhead trolley wire or with a conductor rail.

Loading or Carrying Capacity of a Vehicle or Wagon – The extent to which the vehicle can normally be loaded as shown by the wagon or van marking. The capacity is expressed for passenger stock in the number of seats/berths available and for parcel and goods stock in tones.

Local Traffic – The expression ‘Local traffic’ when used with reference to a railway means traffic originating and terminating at stations within the limits of that railway without passing over any other railway. Existing practices under running power arrangements will, however, continue.

Locomotives – Rail vehicle either with prime-mover and motor or with motor only (electric locomotive) used for hauling other vehicles. A distinction is made between steam locomotives, electric locomotives, diesel locomotives, etc., according to the type of motive power used.

Locomotive, steam – A locomotive, steam, is one propelled by power supplied from a steam engine.

Locomotive, diesel-electric – A locomotive, diesel-electric, is one propelled by electricity supplied from diesel electric type internal combustion prime mover and irrespective of the number of units used.

Locomotive, diesel hydraulic and mechanical – A diesel hydraulic and mechanical locomotive is one propelled by hydraulic transmission where engine torque is multiplied by a
hydraulic torque convertor, irrespective of the number of units used.

Locomotive, electric – A locomotive, electric, is one propelled by electricity supplied from an external conductor, regardless of whether storage batteries are used as an auxiliary source of power and irrespective of the number of units used.

Mean kilometrage – The length of the railway, calculated according to the definition of route kilometrage allowing for changes in the kilometrage during the period covered. Thus, the mean kilometrage worked during a year which has had an addition/closing during the year will be as follows:-

Route kilometrage at commencement of a year (plus/minus); (Number of days the new section/section closed was in use during the year) multiplied by (the length of the new section/section closed) and divided by (the number of days in the year).
Net Earnings – The difference between the gross earnings and the working expenses, excluding suspense but including appropriation to Depreciation Reserve Fund and Pension Fund.
Net load, Net Tonnage – The weight of passengers, baggage or goods conveyed by a vehicle (coach, wagon, etc.,) or by a group of vehicles (trains).

Net Revenue – Difference between the gross earnings and the working expenses after the payment of dividend to General Revenues, payment to worked lines and other net miscellaneous expenditure.

Net Tonne Kilometer – Unit of measure of goods traffic which represents the transport of one tonne of goods (including the weight of any packing, but excluding the weight of the vehicle used for transport) over a distance of one kilometre.

Net-Revenue Traffic – Traffic conveyed by rail for the working of the railway and for which commercial tariffs are not charged.

On Cost – Expenditure incurred on jobs which cannot be charged direct to the cost of articles manufactured or work done.

Operating Ratio – The ratio of working expenses (excluding suspense but including Appropriation to Depreciation Reserve Fund and Pension Fund) to gross earnings.

Passengers Carried – refers to the number of passengers originating on each railway as well as the number of passengers received from other railways and also those crossing the railway (See instructions for compilation of item 2 of Monthly Statement No. 6-C).

Passenger Kilometre – Unit of measure of passenger traffic corresponding to the conveyance of a passenger over a distance of one kilometre.

Passengers Originating – means number of passengers booked from each gauge of the railway

Rail cars-internal combustion engine propelled – are self propelled vehicles the prime movers of which are internal combustion engines

Rate – Price fixed by the tariff for the conveyance of a unit of parcels, luggage and goods.

Repairs, first class – First class or unit repairs relate to repairs of locomotives where the percentage allowances come to hundred.

Revenue earning traffic – Traffic conveyed by rail and for which commercial tariffs are applied i.e., for transportation of which the railway is paid by either the consignor or the consignee.

Revenue reserve fund – This Fund consists of appropriation out of the surplus of net revenue receipts of railways and is utilized primarily for maintaining the agreed payments to general revenues and for making up any deficit in the working of the railways.

Revenue tonne-kilometre – Unit of measure of public goods traffic which represents the transport of a quantity of goods charged for as one tonne over a distance counted in the tariff as one kilometer.

Rolling-stock – All railway tractive and transport vehicles, including travelling cranes.

Rolling-stock – locomotive/vehicle/wagon-on line – is one which is actually on the track of the reporting railway system. Stock owned by it but absent on other railways are excluded and those of other railways running on its line are included.

Coaching vehicles of other railways running on the line temporarily as forming part of through trains are, however, excluded from coaching vehicles on line. They are included by the owning railway.

Route kilometer – Distance of each gauge owned by a railway including its worked lines treated as a single line.

Running power – refers to the arrangement by which a railway runs its trains on lines owned by another railway.

Running track kilometer – In addition to the route kilometrage, the extra distance of multiple tracks i.e., double, treble, etc., tracks shall be treated as two or three or more tracks but shall exclude the track in sidings, yards and crossings at stations.

Seat kilometer – Unit of measuring the carrying capacity of a passenger vehicle which is equivalent to the movement of one seat available in a coach or motor vehicle over a distance of one kilometer.

Shunting – Operation of moving a vehicle or rake of vehicles inside a station, marshalling yard or other railway installations (depots, workshops, etc.) which are not considered as a train movement.

Siding – Commercial sidings – are to show assisted sidings build for private individuals local requirements, sidings in the coal fields leading to a particular colliery, etc. Transportation sidings – are to show crossings, loops at stations, relief sidings, sidings in the coal fields not used solely for a particular colliery, etc.

Smalls – Goods consignments whose weight and dimensions do not require the exclusive use of a wagon. Several smalls consignments may consequently be loaded in the same wagon.

Staff – All employees paid directly by the railway administration (except casual labour).

Stores – Supplies of materials or parts whether purchased externally or manufactured in railway workshops required for working the railway.

Suburban Traffic – Passenger traffic moving in metropolitan areas (at present in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) where special concessional rates for season tickets are applicable is termed as suburban traffic.

Suspense – Difference between true earnings/working expenses in an accounting period whether or not actually realized/disbursed and earnings/working expenses actually realized/disbursed during an accounting period. (See para 308 of the Financial Code Vol.I).

Through Traffic – This expression refers to transport on interchange traffic beyond the limits of a single railway system. 66. Tonnes carried – This represents the quantum of goods originating on each railway as well as the quantum of goods received from other railways/gauges and also those crossing the railway.

Tonne kilometer – Unit of measure which represents the movement of one tonne over a distance of one kilometer.

Tonnes terminating – include tones of all traffic terminating on the gauge whether they originated on the home line or on other railways.

Tonnes originating – This includes tones of all traffic originating on each gauge, whether it terminates on the gauge itself or on some other gauge of the home line, or on other railways.

Track kilometer – Distance of each gauge owned by a railway including its worked lines treated as a single line and the extra distance due to double, treble, etc., tracks, as also the length of sidings, etc.

Train engine hours – are to show the hours during which engines are employed on trains, counting in each case from the time the engine starts with the train, until it reaches the station at which the engine terminates its run with the train.
Train kilometer – Unit of measure of distance which corresponds to the movement of a train over one kilometer.
Transhipment – Transfer of goods from one vehicle to another of the same or different gauges.

Turn round of a wagon – Interval of time between two successive loadings of a wagon.

Van – Railway vehicle attached to a passenger or goods train and used by the train staff and/or for the conveyance of any baggage, parcels, etc.

Vehicle, passenger (passenger carriages) – Railway vehicle used for the carriage of persons.

Vehicle/wagon day – Unit of measure of the potential use of vehicles/wagons, which corresponds to one vehicle/wagon being present on the system during one day.

Vehicle/wagon effective – A Vehicle/wagon effective, is one in serviceable condition available on a railway and is either in traffic or available for traffic use.

Vehicle/wagon kilometer – Unit of measure of distance which corresponds to movement of a vehicle/wagon over a distance of 1 kilometre.
Vehicle/wagon, under or awaiting repairs – is one being repaired in a shop or sick lines or awaiting entrance into a shop for repairs.

Wagon – Railway vehicle used for the carriage of goods.

Wagon, covered – Wagon of a watertight nature by virtue of the construction of the vehicle (completely covered on roof and sides), also characterized by the security of transport (possibility of locking and/or sealing the wagon).

Wagon, loaded – refers to a wagon loaded with goods traffic.

Wagon, open – Wagon not fitted with a roof. It may be either high sided, low sided or without side.

Wagons owned – includes total number of wagons owned by a railway whether against authorized stock or stock which has been replaced but still running.

Working expenses – Expenditure incurred in connection with the administration, operation, maintenance and repairs of lines opened for traffic. This also includes appropriation to Pension Fund and the contribution made to the Depreciation Reserve Fund to meet the cost of replacements and renewals.


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