Mumbai: Railways lose Rs 14,000 for each suburban service

In 2014-15, the annual revenue from each 12-car train service was Rs 59.42 lakh, but the expenditure on it was a whopping Rs 111.08 lakh, causing a loss of Rs 51.66 lakh

Railway officials start counting their losses the moment a suburban train leaves the yard, and rightfully so. For, each train service — from the originating station to the destination — incurs a loss of Rs 14,153.

The average passenger fare for a second-class season ticket is 7.72 paise/km while a first-class season ticket generates a revenue of 28.30 p/km. Pic for representation
The average passenger fare for a second-class season ticket is 7.72 paise/km while a first-class season ticket generates a revenue of 28.30 p/km. Pic for representation

Sources say under the current scenario, train operations are a huge loss-making venture for the Indian Railways.

In 2014-15, the annual revenue from each 12-car train service was Rs 59.42 lakh, but the expenditure on it was a whopping Rs 111.08 lakh, causing a loss of Rs 51.66 lakh. In 2013-14, the losses from each train were Rs 41.04 lakh (an earning of Rs 56.10 lakh being bogged down by an expenditure of Rs 97.14 lakh).

Ten years ago, though, suburban trains were a profitable undertaking. In 2004-05, each train’s earnings were Rs 55.12 lakh against its expenditure of Rs 52.73 lakh. But then, the very next year, railways went in the red, with a loss of Rs 72,000 on each train. The losses jumped drastically in 2006-07 to Rs 2.79 lakh.

The railways managed to earn a profit of Rs 1.06 lakh on a train service in 2007-08, when it introduced a fare hike after a long period, but the glimmer of hope of raking in more moolah died soon.

“Since then, inflation has gone up tremendously, which led to an increase in expenditure on various accounts needed to manufacture and operate a train,” says a senior railway official. In 2008-09, the losses climbed to Rs 15.64 lakh, and spiked to Rs 25.28 lakh the year after.

The average passenger fare for a second-class season ticket is 7.72 paise/km while a first-class season ticket generates a revenue of 28.30 p/km. A second-class single journey ticket costs a mere 23.84 p/km, while a first-class single journey comes up to Rs 2.304/km.

Officials from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation say when narrowed down to the lowest per kilometre slab, the suburban railway has the lowest expenditure. For instance, the per kilometre fare of Mumbai Metro is Rs 5, but for suburban railway, it’s just 50 p. A BEST bus charge Rs 4/km and the Monorail’s fare is Rs 1.65/km at its lowest slab.

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