Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain and Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani inaugurated the workshop. “This workshop is an exercise with the top management of the railways to brainstorm about the increase in speed of freight and passenger trains,” Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said.
Issues such as “punctuality, rolling stock, removing bottlenecks in terms of traffic, elimination of unmanned level crossings were discussed” at the workshop, he said. It was attended by members of the board, zonal railway general managers, and senior officers.
Piyush Goyal also stated that coal loading was the highest at 555 million tonnes in 2017-18. In last three months there has been increasing of 18.7% in coal loading, he said. “The ministries of railways and coal are coordinating well. To ensure there is no shortage of coal in power plants, the demand for coal has also witnessed an increase due to fewer imports,” Goyal said.
‘Mission Raftaar’ aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of coaching trains by 25 kmph over a five-year period. The average speed of freight trains is 24 kmph and that of passenger trains, excluding suburban trains, is 44 kmph.
Increasing the average speed of trains is considered essential for reducing travel time for passengers, transit time for cargo, operational cost, and improving revenues and the railway’s market share.