North Central Railway becomes leading zonal Railway in finalization of Station to Station (STS) proposals to boost freight loading

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On 09.09.20, Hon’ble Minister of State of Railways Shri Suresh Angadi reviewed freight loading performance of North Central Railway through video conferencing with General Manager Sri Rajiv Chaudhry. PHODs of North Central Railway and DRMs from Prayagraj, Agra and Jhansi divisions. 

General Manager made a brief powerpoint presentation to Hon’ble MoS(R) covering freight loading performance till August 20, revenue from freight loading, efforts on NCR to increase freight loading volume and average speed of goods trains, short term improvements in goods sheds and action plan for major infrastructural works, operation of time tabled parcel and container trains, formation of BDUs and efforts made by these units to add new traffic stream, marketing efforts, development of goods sheds on PPP model etc. 

  • Shri Chaudhry apprised the hon’ble minister that NCR is primarily a passing through railway yet significant steps have been taken to improve originating freight loading and NCR is working on an ambitious plan to load 1.4 times the assigned target of 16.94 million tonnes by Railway Board for 2020-21. 
  • This will help NCR to equal revenue gap due to less passenger train operations to a large extent. 
  • GM informed on proactive approach of Business development units of NCR in getting new traffic streams through continuous dialogue with existing and prospective customers. 
  • Sri Chaudhry also informed that short term inputs have already been given in 16 goods sheds and NCR is working in mission mode to improve goods sheds on long term basis for which 10 works have been sanctioned in the current financial year. 
  • He further added that apart from inputs given by Railway, business proposals have also been invited in Prayagraj and Agra divisions to develop 17 goods sheds through revenue sharing model under PPP for which Expression of Interest (EOI) have already been invited. 
  • Salient feature of invited EOI is that for the first-time applicant have been given full freedom on identification of items of development, revenue sharing model, period etc. with only the condition that freight fare structure will remain unchanged.
  • GM Shri Chaudhry apprised that the team of officers and staff on NCR have made relentless efforts towards increasing freight loading and NCR has marketed and implemented all concession and subsidies given by Railway board in freight loading to increase its loading share. 
  • Station to Station (STS) concessional rate is an important initiative of Railway which provides upto 30% concession in freight tariff for incremental and new traffic of specified commodity between fixed originating and destination points GM Shri Rajiv Chaudhry apprised hon’ble minister that North Central Railway is leading Railway among all zones in finalizing Station to Station(STS) proposals.
  • It has already finalized 05 STS proposals from Datia, Habra, Etah, Kherli and Rayaru. 
  • STS proposals of Lalitpur and Kabrai are under agreement stage and 05 proposals from Hathras Qilah, Kabrai, Mathutra, Etha(2nd proposal) and Pankidham/CPC Kanpur are under finalization taking total tally of STS to 12. 
  • Hon’ble MoS (R) Shri Suresh Angadi congratulated the GM and team of officers and staff of NCR for efforts towards increase in freight loading, average speed of goods trains and bringing new traffic streams.
  • He said that development of goods sheds under PPP mode will also boost employment generation and directed that we should try to make our proposals more customer oriented. 
  • Sri Angadi said that Railway is working tirelessly towards the clarion call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister for Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

It is worth mentioning that a number of concessions/discounts are also being given in Indian Railways to make the Railways Freight movement very attractive. It may be noted that improvements in freight movements will be institutionalized and incorporated in the upcoming zero based time table. Covid-19 has been used by Indian Railways as an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances.

Initiatives to boost Freight Operations:

Indian Railways has taken a number of initiatives to boost Freight Operations inspite of Covid-19 related challenges.

Indian Railways has taken a series of initiatives in Tariff and  Non-Tariff field. Utilizing Covid period as an opportunity Indian Railways substantially increased the speed of Freight Trains. 72% increase in average speed of Freight Trains in the year 2020-21 as compared to last year. 94% increase took place in speed of Freight Trains in August 2020 compared to August 2019.

Following are the latest Tariff Rationalisation initiatives (measures) taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations:

  • 5% discount on loaded containers (addition to 25% on empty) for Containers from 03.08.2020.
  • Discount for Pond ash/ Moisturised ash – Open wagon – 40% for Power plants, Cement from 03.08.2020.
  • Revision in classification of Industrial salt from 120 to 100 A for Chemical Industry from 03.08.2020.
  • Stabling charges for private Container and Automobile trains waived off till 31st October 2020 for Containers and Automobile from 03.08.2020.

Following are some other Tariff Rationalisation initiatives (measures) taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations:

  • Withdrawal of Busy Season charge-15% for All sectors Except Coal, Iron ore and containers from 1.10.2019.
  • Withdrawal of 5% surcharge of two point/mini rakes for Cement, Iron and steel, Food grains, Fertilizers, Bulk BOG from 1.10.2019.
  • Discount for Fly ash-Bagged in open wagon-40% for Power  plants, Cement  from 10.05.2020.
  • Alternate terminal scheme-Rs 56,000 to Rs 80,000 per rake for All sector from 27.06.2020.
  • Round trip Traffic (RTT) policy-charging of lower class for All sectors from 01.07.2020.
  • Long lead concession-15 to 20% for Coal, Iron ore and Iron and steel from 01.07.2020.
  • Short lead concession-10 to 50% for All sector (except coal and iron ore ) from 01.07.2020.

Following are latest Non-Tariff initiatives (measures) taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations:

  • Two point unloading permitted for Automobile traffic for Automobiles sector from 05.08.2020.
  • Limit on number of Co-users in Private siding removed for All sectors from 18.08.2020.
  • All private sidings/Good sheds/Private freight terminals opened up for Parcel traffic for Parcels from 18.08.2020.
  • Reduced composition for Indented parcels extended till 31.03.202 for Parcels from 18.08.2020.
  • Extension of time tabled parcel express till 31.12.2020 for Parcels from 19.06.2020.
  • Application fee for Greenfield PFT reduced from Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 20,000 and completely waived off for conversion of siding to Brownfield PFT for All Sectors from 24.08.2020.
  • 23 more two point combinations opened for steel traffic for Steel sector from 25.08.2020.
  • Freight and parcel helpline through 13 for All sectors from 26.08.2020.
  • Distance restriction on Mini rakes of 1500 km removed with a small surcharge for Cement, Iron and steel, Food grains, Fertilizers, Bulk BOG from 27.08.2020.

Other Measures taken by Indian Railways to boost Freight Operations are as follows:

  • Business Development Units (BDUs) set up – Divisions, Zones and Board level.
  • Restrictions on co-use of private sidings removed – 1,079 private sidings allowed to become private freight terminals effectively.
  • 405 Major Good sheds being improved-Concrete surface, bright LED lighting, better roads & labour facilities – To enable 3 shift operations.
  • Time tabled parcel trains.
  • Opening up of export traffic to Bangladesh for Parcels, Containers & Automobile.  
  • Kisan rail introduced from Devlali (Nashik) to Danapur (Patna) on 07.08.2020 Multiple stoppages, Multiple commodities, Multiple parties – Now extended to Muzaffarpur. Link train from Kolhapur to Manmad also added. Now Bi-weekly from 24.08.2020. Total 04 trips have been completed till Now.

Source: North Central Railway-Press Release 

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