Rlys hoping for passenger service normalisation in 2021

Railways hoping for normalisation of passenger train services early next year

The railways has said due to the pandemic, it is looking at a loss of around Rs 40,000 crore in the current financial year

Representative image. Credit: PTI file photo.

Amid rising of Covid-19 cases, Indian Railways is hoping to normalisation of passenger train services only early next year.

At present, the railways is operating 736 special trains, 200 services of the Kolkata Metro, over 2,000 Mumbai suburban services, and 20 special clone trains. Besides those, 436 festival special trains are being operated from October 20 to November 30.

According to the railways, overall occupancy of the 736 special trains is around 92%.

With Covid-19 cases rising in several parts of the country, the normalisation of passenger train services may be more delayed than expected. Normalisation services may happen only early next year, said an official in the railways.

By next month, the government and railway ministry will assess the situation regarding Covid-19, after which a decision will be taken to increase the number of other mail and express trains. Even continuation of festival special trains from November 31 will be taken soon, said the official.

The Railways, which had suspended all passenger train services since the beginning of lockdown in March 24, has so far earned Rs 3,322 crore as revenue from the segment, which is 90% less than what it earned during the same period last year.

Freight loading has grown, compared to last year, and there has been a 9% revenue growth, which comes to Rs 869 crore more than last year.

In the fiscal 2019-20, the railways passenger earning was Rs 56,000 crore. Due to the pandemic, the railways was able to earn only 10% of its total earning from passengers segment in the current fiscal.

The railways has said due to the pandemic, it is looking at a loss of around Rs 40,000 crore in the current financial year.