Western Railway is facing an annual revenue loss of ₹5,000 crore in passenger trains segment due to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected services, General Manager Alok Kansal said. The zonal railway is incurring an annual revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore in the passenger trains segment due to the coronavirus pandemic, which affected passenger train services and led to a drop in the number of railway travellers. Among the passenger trains that are currently being operated by Western Railways, some of the trains are running with only 10 per cent occupancy, the GM said.
Kansal said before the outbreak of COVID-19, the Western Railway used to run about 300 passenger trains. But, the government stopped passenger trains across the country in March last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said the operation of passenger trains is now coming back on track and this is expected to improve the Western Railway’s revenue.
“During the last 11 months, the Western Railway has gradually restarted 145 out of its 300 passenger trains… about 50 percent of our passenger trains have been resumed,” he said.
The Western Railway zone is going to restart six more passenger trains in the next seven days, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the GM said. He further clarified that at present, Western Railways is running its passenger trains as special trains in view of the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, and only those carrying reserved train tickets are allowed to travel. Last year, during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Western Railway zone ran as many as 1,234 Shramik Special trains services from May 1 to 31 to ferry nearly 19 lakh people to their destinations in various states, the GM added.