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Railways lost Rs. 14,000 on every suburban service in 2014-15

Railways lost Rs. 14,000 on every suburban service in 2014-15

Representational image of a Mumbai suburban station.

India’s Suburban Rail service suffered a loss of over 50 lac for each 12-car service in the year 2014-15, according to a recent report.

The suburban rail service is operational in over 12 cities across the country and acts like a backbone of a city’s inter-transport system. Mumbai’s suburban rail service, for example, is responsible for transporting over 75 lac commuters everyday.

Unfortunately though, the Railways lose money every time a suburban train leaves the yard. An estimated loss of Rs. 14,000 is incurred each time a train completes one journey from start to end.

In 2014-15, Railways earned over Rs. 59.42 lac as annual revenue from each 12-car service. But, it cost the Railways over Rs. 1.1 crore to run. Thereby resulting in a loss of Rs. 51.6 lac. A year before, the loss was Rs. 41.06 lac.

A decade earlier, the suburban trains were a profitable venture. But, it went downhill from the year 2006-07. Officials believe that the low cost of travel per KM is the primary reason for the loss. While inflation has increased the cost of maintaining and running the trains, the ticket prices haven’t been adjusted accordingly.

In case of Mumbai itself, while the per KM cost of travel is Rs. 5 in Mumbai Metro and Rs. 4 in B.E.S.T, Mumbai locals cost commuters Rs. 0.5 per KM. As a result, Mumbai locals alone have raked up a loss of over Rs. 4150 crore over the last 5 years.

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