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NEW DELHI: Having refunded more money than its total earnings from tickets in the past five months, railways is seeing a silver lining in the revenue bump it has seen from the freight segment. The earnings from freight in the first half of August has surpassed the earnings recorded a year back and in the past one week there was a 3.4% increase.
The speed of freight trains has also doubled as compared to last year – from 22.7 kmph to 45.6 kmph – which is helping railways to move goods faster. Eastern Railway zone has registered maximum increase in the average speed of freight trains from 17.7 kmph in August 2019 to 57.5 kmph this month.
Official data show the national transporter earned Rs 2,368 crore in passenger bookings this year whereas the refund due to cancellation of trains stood at Rs 2,628 crore till August 11. The railway ministry has said they don’t expect more than 15% revenue from passenger segment against the budget estimate of nearly Rs 50,000 crore during this financial year.
Though the total refund in 2019 was higher at Rs 3,660.08 crore, earning was also more at Rs 17,309 crore when train services were normal. This is for the first time that the railways has refunded more in the passenger segment than what it earned.
Meanwhile, data available on railways online platform, Raildrishti, in the past one week, said the transporter recorded 9.8% increase in loading and the total earning was Rs 2,078 crore, which is 3.4% more than the corresponding period in 2019. Till August 15, the revenue was up by nearly 1% compared to last year and the loading was 8.2% more.

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