Western Railway joins the “100 million tons” club

Western Railway is the Railways’ sixth zone, transporting 100 million tons in a fiscal year. Western Railway is the first non-coal zone to accomplish this feat. A part of Maharashtra and Rajasthan lies in this zone. Traffic in this sector is expected to see a significant increase of 24 percent in 2022-23 (FY 23).

The area has served the needs of industrial traffic in the past. According to the analysis, the transport of imported coal has changed radically in this fiscal year. The nationwide coal crisis had prompted an energy crisis. This increased the dependency on imported coal.

Because of this, Western Railway coal shipments increased 7.7 times in FY23. During this period, coal was shipped directly from Gujarat’s western ports. Experts had pointed out that coal shipped to power stations in East India is also transported via the “rail-c-rail” model or waterways. The central government encouraged the transport of coal and other goods via waterways.

It was expected that this would continue to benefit non-coal zones such as the Western Railway. However, the Western Railway carried mostly imported coal. But coal accounted for only 15% of the total traffic in this zone, accounting for far less than 50% of Indian Railways.

Industrial traffic increased significantly during this spectacular business year for the Western Railway. In FY23 there was an approximately 16 percent increase in cement traffic, an approximately 18 percent increase in fertilizer and an approximately 25 percent increase in petroleum movements through this zone. At the national level, trade in goods remained weak while the sector continued to grow.

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