The railways has registered a healthy growth in revenues from ticketing last fiscal despite competitive prices on offer from airlines and without raising fares, official data shows.
In 2017-2018, the national transporter earned Rs 50,000 crore from passenger fare, an increase of Rs 2,551 crore over 2016-2017.
It has also recorded a spurt in the number of passengers with a two per cent growth in suburban railway ticketing and 6.3 per cent growth in bookings through PRS.
Overall, the number of passengers travelling in trains has increased from 8219.38 million in 2016-2017 to 8267.32 million in 2017-2018, official data shows.
The growth has been registered despite concerns over the railways losing out on passengers due to the dynamic pricing of airlines and also due to the flexi-fare system introduced in premium trains. However, that has not impacted the transporter much, officials said.
Flexi-fare scheme was introduced in September 2016 in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains. While, in 2016-2017, the total revenue in flexi-fare trains was Rs 1931.60 crore with 13.73 million passengers in 2017-2018 till February, it rose to 14.08 million passengers and revenues of Rs 2,296.75 crore.
The average distance covered by trains across the railway network has also grown from 559 km in 2016-2017 to 566 km in 2017-2018.
In terms of freight loading too, the railways has shown a positive trend with an increase in all commodities. Coal loading has increased by 21.67 million tonne, containers by 6.82 million tonne, cement by 10.1 million tonne and steel by 4.79 million tonne.
Overall, loading has seen an increase of 53.2 million tonne with the total loading in 2017-2018 being 1162 million tonne.