Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Railways
19 MAR 2021 3:58PM by PIB Delhi
Achievements of Railways inspite of Covid Pandemic

Key achievements of Indian Railways during Financial Year 2020-21 despite lockdown are given below:-

  1. Due to the imposition of nationwide lockdown from 25th March, 2020 on account of COVID-19 pandemic, initially, there was a slowdown in the execution of Railway projects. However, after the initial phase, with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, the pace of construction and other infrastructure development activities gained momentum. Moreover, due to meticulous planning, prioritization of projects and focused approach of execution, infrastructure works are now in full swing. Despite COVID pandemic, during 2020-21 (upto February, 2021), Indian Railways has achieved commissioning of 1793 km length of New line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling works.  Railway electrification of 3003 route km and track renewal of 4099 km was carried out. Total 1009 bridges have been repaired/strengthened/rehabilitated/rebuilt and 925 Road Over Bridges (ROBs)/Road Under Bridges (RUBs) were constructed. During the current year, 21 New line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling projects of a total length of 1095 km costing Rs. 10,980 Crore have been commissioned. Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor section between New Bhaupur-New Khurja (approx 351 km) was commissioned on 29.12.2020 and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor section between New Rewari-New Kishangarh-Madar (approx 306 km) was commissioned on 07.01.2021.
  2. During the lockdown period following the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, 2020, freight movement was affected due to the decline in demand and disruption in the road transportation and labour services at loading and unloading terminals. However, Railways managed to keep the movement of essential transportation uninterrupted ensuring that there was no shortage of coal for power plants and other essential commodities like foodgrains, fertilizer etc. Record foodgrain loading was done to supply foodgrains to States under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna (PMGKAY). After the easing of lockdown by Ministry of Home Affairs, Railways took a number of steps to move more freight traffic and the shortfall of freight traffic of 70 million tonne during the period April, 2020 upto July, 2020 as compared to the corresponding period of last year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic related disruptions, has been made good and Indian Railways have exceeded last year loading by loading 1170.4 million tonne in Financial Year 2020-21 till 17.03.2021 as compared to 1167.6 million tonne in Financial Year 2019-20 till 17.03.2020.
  3. Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala has recently rolled out the first prototype Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) AC three-tier economy class coach, with enhanced facilities. Trial for the same has been successfully completed. Vistadome coaches provide panoramic view, through wider body side windows as well as through transparent sections in the roof, thus enabling the passengers to enjoy the scenic beauty of the places through which they travel. Recently, four Vistadome coaches on LHB platform have been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory/Chennai with several modern features amenities.
  4. Infrastructure development in the field of Signalling & Telecommunication during the current year include provision of Wi-Fi facility in 303 Railway Stations, increase in user interest for Wi-fi Service at Railway Stations, installation  of CCTV cameras at 120 Railway stations to strengthen security infrastructure, commissioning of 2074 route km of OFC and 1556 route km of Quad Cable. Provision of facilities for passengers at Railway stations such as Public Announcement Systems (103 Stations), Train Indication Boards (35 Stations), Digital Clock (600 Stations), Coach Guidance system (32 Stations) have also been strengthened. 
  5. 48 Mechanical Signalling installations have been eliminated to improve safety and operation flexibility in the yards, Electronic Interlocking (EI) has been commissioned at 256 stations, Panel Interlocking (PI) at 29 stations and Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) at 9 stations.  Interlocking with Signals has been provided at 244 Level Crossing Gates to enhance the safety at Level Crossings, Intermediate Block Signalling has been commissioned on 41 block sections thereby enhancing line capacity by safely allowing two trains in the section between two stations, Axle Counter for Automatic Clearance of Block Section have been provided on 294 block sections to improve safety and Automatic Block Signalling to improve the line capacity has been commissioned in 131 km block section improving Line capacity.
  6. Development of high strength rails, upgradation of Indigenously developed ATP (Automatic Train Protection) system/TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System) Phase-II project having features like interfacing Electronic Interlocking, Centralized Traffic Control and Remote Updation of Temporary Speed Restriction (TSR) etc have been done. In addition, new designs of high horse power locomotives were developed during the period.
  7. Over 350 critical and long  pending major bridge & track works having bearing on safety and operational efficiency have been carried out and backlogs have been cleared. Some of these works were pending for several years due to unavailability of longer traffic blocks and creating bottlenecks in Railway operations.
  8. With concentrated efforts, average speed of freight trains has been doubled from about 23 km/hour in the previous year to over 45 km/hour presently.


Benefits and long term gains likely to accrue due to various initiatives during 2020-21 are given below:-

  1. Completion of Doubling, New Line and Gauge Conversion projects will enhance the capacity of railway network and reduce the operational bottlenecks and will enable to carry more trains at a higher speed with increased safety.
  2. Railway electrification of tracks  will lead to reduced operating cost by haulage of heavier freight trains leading to increased throughput, Increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention on account of traction change, reduced Operating and maintenance cost of Electric Locomotives, reduced dependence on imported diesel fuel, thereby saving precious foreign currency.
  3. Development of indigenous high strength rails will help in saving precious foreign exchange and will help in realizing Atmanirbhar Bharat. Similarly, TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System) Phase-II will assist in improving safety in passenger trains and its interfacing with Electronic Interlocking & Centralized Traffic Control feasibility will enable real time Remote Updation of TSRs (Temporary Speed Restriction). The High horse power locomotives developed during the period will assist in heavy haul operation on Indian Railways. The larger objective aims at increasing the speed of trains on Indian Railways, increasing sectional throughput and creating additional network capacity on Indian Railways.
  4. The Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) will create additional capacity by segregating freight traffic from passenger traffic along their routes. DFCs will lead to faster transportation of goods and reduced logistic cost and improved supply chain efficiency. DFCs will facilitate in enhancing the modal share of Railways and contribute to overall economic growth of the country.
  5. Doubling of average speed of freight trains has the same effect as doubling the line capacity of entire system. There will be more paths available as well as more wagons available with Railways to carry more freight and introduce more trains. This will facilitate introduction of time tabled goods trains in future.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.