The national transporter is offering concessions to make freight movement more attractive in its endeavour for cost-competitive logistics.
Indian Railways on July 28 said it has achieved more freight loading compared to last year despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
On July 27, the total freight loading was 3.13 million tonnes, higher than last year's tally for the same date.
The national transporter also informed that it has completed 200 infrastructure projects.
The Railways said it will gradually move away from leasing of parcel space in trains and will introduce online booking of parcel space in trains of choice (on first-come-first-serve basis) at pre-determined freight rates. Zonal Railways are identifying terminals which can be converted into dedicated parcel terminals.
These improvements in freight movements will be institutionalised and incorporated in the upcoming zero-based time table and are expected to result in higher freight traffic and earnings for the Railways.
"The Railways achieved a significant milestone of pulling freight traffic ahead of last year's level despite COVID-19 related challenges," Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said, adding that Indian Railways is looking at ways to bring down the freight cost.
The average speed of freight trains on Monday was 46.16 kmph, which was more than double compared with last year for the same date (22.52 kmph), he said.
Some of the achievements of the Railways during the COVID-19 period included uninterrupted supply of essential commodities and record loading of food grains.
On the operations front, multi-disciplinary business development units have been set up at Railway Board and zonal levels and efforts are underway to rope in strategic private partners for goods sheds. Two EOIs have also been floated for this scheme.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here