COVID 19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances

Indian Railways registered its highest-ever monthly freight loading figures in January. The quantity of freight transported during the month touched 119.79 Million Tonnes (MT), higher than the earlier best figure of 119.74 MT in March 2019.

This was an indicator of the fast moving economic upswing, the Ministry ofRailways said in a statement, adding that
cumulative freight loading during the current year was expected to surpass last year’s figures.

"Freight figures continue to maintain the high momentum in terms of earnings and loading in the month of January 2021 for Indian Railways," the statement.

Providing statistics till Monday for the month of February, Indian Railways said the loading was 30.54 million tonnes. This includes 13.61 million tonnes of coal, 4.15 million tonnes of iron ore, 1.04 million tonnes of foodgrains, 1.03 million tonnes of fertilizers, 0.96 million tonnes of mineral oil and 1.97 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker).

Indian Railways has rolled out several concessions and discounts to make rail freight movement very attractive. "COVID 19 has been used by Indian Railways an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances," the ministry pointed out.

The statement added that the Ministry of Railways has held meetings with top leadership of iron & steel, cement, power, coal, automobiles and logistics service providers to attract new business and incentivise other existing clients.

According to the Indian Railways, business development units at the zonal & divisional levels and near doubling of freight speed is also contributing to this sustainable growth momentum.

Over the past few months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated two stretches of the Dedicated Freight Corridors meant to speed up the process of transporting goods by rail.

While the 306-km Rewari to Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) was inaugurated on January 7, the 351-km Bhaupur to Khurja stretch of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) was opened on December 29.

The opening of the Rewari-Madar section had ensured seamless connectivity between the WDFC and EDFC.