• Railways hopes to regain revenue lost to road transport

    In an effort to bring cargo business back to the Indian Railways, the ministry launched a scheduled Cargo vehicle between Bengaluru and Delhi.
    The train, Cargo Express1UP was flagged off from the Whitefield Railway station in Bengaluru, early on Sunday morning, carrying polished granite slabs, plywood, rubber, scrap materials, poultry feed and so on. It is expected to finish the journey in 64 hours and reach Delhi on 21 June.
    The cargo train comes at a time when the Indian Railways is focussed on increasing its revenue.
    According to Sanjeev Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, SWR, “Till now passenger trains were the priority and goods trains were given time only when there were no passenger trains along the route. This changes things, because for the first time we have a scheduled Cargo train with a fixed delivery time,” he said.
    The entire train will earn the Railways a revenue of Rs 35 lakh per train, said MP Vijay Kumar, senior manager (C&O), Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR), the Navratna PSU under Ministry of Railways. Undefined timings of trains increased the logistical costs of transporting cargo, which forced businesses to look at other options, such as road transport.
    “The cargo train is an effort towards serving to the demands of traders. It will serve the requirements of express cargoes, FMCG industries and others who want in time delivery. It will also help reduce logistical costs. It is already getting a good response considering that the train is almost at par with a passenger trains. We hope that it will help us regain the business we lost to road transport,” he said.
    For the railways, Passenger trains are largely running at a loss and most of their profit comes from Goods trains, said Tallam Dwarkanath, President, FKCCI. “By road, transporting goods to Delhi takes at least five days, not to mention the various delays at check posts and so on. The train will drastically reduce the time taken, be largely hassle free. It is a win win from the trade perspective as well as from the railways perspective,” he said.
    The weekly container rail service will depart from Bangalore (Whitefield) every sunday at 2 am and is expected to reach Delhi (Okhla) on Tuesday at 6 pm. It has 8 containers.
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