The Indian Railways transported over 1,160 million tonnes of freight in 2017-18 which is the highest-ever for the national transporter, ministry officials said.
In the last five years, there has been a steady growth in freight loading by the railways.
While in 2016-2017, the total freight loading was 1,109 million tonnes, in the previous year it was 1,104 million tonnes, the officials said.
They said in 2014-2015, the number stood at 1,095 million tonnes while in 2013-2014 the railways’ freight loading was 1,051 million tonnes.
Freight traffic is the major source of revenue for the railways. Only one-third of the 13,000 trains running daily on the national transporter’s network are freight trains, but it accounts for 65 per cent of the railways’ total revenue.
Raw materials from producing centres to factories and finished/semi-finished products from factories to markets or ports for export are carried by the railways as freight.