According to senior railway officials, nearly Rs 11,000 is the loss that administration has to suffer behind every trip. No wonder Western Railway (WR), which operates 1305 services, has not added any new service in past two years.
Claiming that existing train services are more than enough for Mumbai, a senior WR official on condition of anonymity said, “Every time we run additional service there is a huge revenue loss incurred.”
The headway between two trains is 4 minutes on the Churchgate-Virar route.
In fact, worried with increasing losses and to make commuters aware about the fiscal position of the Indian Railway, the administration has started printing approximate loss in percent below every ticket sold to the commuters. From June 17, the railways began mentioning the loss percent on the rail ticket. In the ticket bought for local trains, the ticket states that they cover only 36 percent from commuter fares while long distance trains recover 57 percent from fares; rest they absorb as losses. Meanwhile, from June 1, the railways began charging 0.5 percent more on first class tickets and season passes.
According to an internal study made by the Railways, they are charging 14 paise per km from those using second class general compartments and 37 paise per km from the first class commuter using the suburban trains.
"We want to show people that we are operating suburban system at subsidised fares," said Ravindra Bhakar, chief PRO, WR.
The situation is such that the WR were not able to operate 3200 services on time in April-May wherein it was delayed by 5 minutes or more.
The CR officials also state that they are forced to run more trains services due to demand though there is no room; at present they are running 1610 services on CST-Karjat/Kasara and CST-Panvel routes. In April-May the CR ran 10000 train services late.