With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the country, the railways had to initially stop passenger services to curb the spread of Coronavirus and for the safety of the passengers. Gradually, with time, services were reintroduced in a phased manner. Though, the freight services were doing well, as special trains were introduced to carry essential commodities, as well as medical supplies to every corner of the country.
- Despite the lockdown, when there were shortage of labour, as well as transport constraints for loading and unloading, Western Railway was not deterred and performed its best commitment towards the nation.
- In continuation to this, Western Railway has now explored other options of generating revenue including Non Fare Revenue (NFR).
- It’s worth mentioning that from 2 new NFR projects, Western Rly has generated revenue of approx Rs 6 crore.
- According to a press release issued by Shri Sumit Thakur- Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Rly, in order to monetize assets of Indian Railways and undertake revenue yielding activities, Indian Railways had decided to promote new ideas and concepts for enhancement of non-fare revenue.
Upgradation works at Mumbai Central station:
- In continuation to this, new ideas and concept received under Non Fare Revenue by Western Railway, are always being explored and put into practice.
- The latest one being upgradation of AC Waiting Room with modern amenities at Mumbai Central station.
- In a bid to up the travelling experience of the passengers, Western Rly has awarded a contract for Development, Upgradation, Refurbishment, Maintenance and Manning of AC Waiting room with modern facilities at Mumbai Central station (MMCT) for a period of five years under Non Fare Revenue (NFR) arrangement.
- This initiative would fetch a revenue to the tune of Rs. 18,89,240/- per annum and approx. a total revenue of one crore rupees over the five years contract period.
- This will enable the passengers to have a comfortable and relaxed seating facility with free Wi-Fi, Newspaper/Magazines.
- They can also avail various amenities /services during waiting time on payment basis.
- It is also pertinent to mention that this will save the estimated construction cost of more than Rs. 62 lakhs in developing the waiting room.
- Therefore, this project shall enhance passenger experience while earning revenue and saving cost to Railways.
- Shri Thakur further stated that another contract in the anvil is the installation of Dual Display Information System (DDIS) screens & Automated Ticket Checking and Managing Access (ATMA) screens at various stations of Mumbai Division of Western Railway for a period of 5 years under Non Fare Revenue (NFR) arrangement.
- This initiative would further fetch revenue to the tune of Rs. 95,11,111/- per annum and approx. a total revenue of Rs. 5 crore over the five year contract period.
- The DDIS screens shall provide various useful information to passengers such as fare, other ticket related information as well as social messages e.g. Corona related information including advertisements.
- Thus, these screens would serve as information bridges between Railways and passengers.
- These digital displays would also give modern outlook to booking windows which is the first post of interaction between passengers and Railways.
- The ATMA screens installed would have temperature checking and mask recognition features in addition to contactless ticket scanning in view of the current pandemic.
Transportation of goods:
- Shri Thakur stated that Porbandar – Shalimar parcel special train has been operating since 9th April 2020.
- So far 87 trips of this parcel train have been run from Porbandar station, from which the Bhavnagar division has received a revenue of Rs 1.93 crore.
- The parcel trains were loaded with fish, fishing nets (PVC Nets), papad, kitchen items, hardware, medical items like sanitizers etc. plastic items and other common items.
- Porbandar has the highest number of fish shipments to West Bengal.
- On 27th October, 2020, Bhavnagar division recorded the highest single day loading of 1887 packages in the Porbandar-Shalimar Parcel Special Train departing from Porbandar.
- Revenue generated through this loading weighing 128 tonnes was Rs 7.24 lakh.
- Since 22nd March, 2020, Western Railway has done laudable work by loading 19,809 rakes of goods trains till 29th Oct, 2020.
- The loading included various essential commodities amounting to 42.47 Million Tonnes to different states of the country, including North East region.
- In addition to this Millennium Parcel Van and Milk Tank Wagons containing various essential commodities such as medicine, medical kits, frozen food, milk powder and liquid milk were loaded to Northern & North East region.
- Total 38,684 Freight trains were interchanged with other Railways including 19,290 trains handed over and 19,394 trains taken over at different interchange points of Western Railway.
- In addition to above goods traffic, since 23rd March to 29th Oct, 2020, commodities weighing approx. 1.62 lakh tonnes have been transported by Western Rly through its 641 parcel special trains, which mainly included agricultural produce, medicines, fish, milk etc.
- The revenue generated through this transportation, has been approx. Rs 54.78 crore.
- During this period, 111 milk special trains were run by Western Rly, with a load of more than 84 thousand tonnes and 100% utilization of the wagons.
- Similarly, 472 Covid-19 special parcel trains with a load of about 52 thousand tonnes were also run to transport various essential commodities.
- In addition to this, 58 indented rakes carrying more than 25 thousand tonnes were also run with almost 100% utilization.
- WR has scheduled to run various timetabled Parcel special trains during lockdown period to different parts of the country.
- On 30th Oct, 2020, two parcel special trains, including a milk rake left from WR.
- One parcel special left from Bandra Terminus to Jammu Tawi and an indented train from Kankaria to Cuttack. A milk special also left from Palanpur to Hind Terminal.
Source: Western Railway-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Central Railway