Indian Railways’ share in automobile carriage is inching up and it has finally begun to emerge as a preferred mode of transportation for automobile manufacturers, much like the trends in the developed markets. In a recent release, the railways ministry has claimed a robust double digit jump in auto products carriage last year which has also given a boost to the railways’ earning. “During 2017-18, the loading from automobiles traffic has increased by 16% and earning from automobile traffic has increased by 18% as compared to 2016-17,” the release stated.
Summarising the performance, Member Traffic, Mohd Jamhsed said, “Year 2017-18 has witnessed a paradigm shift in the marketing efforts of Indian Railways to attract automobile traffic and enhance our freight basket… we decided to liberalise Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) policy to encourage more private investment in special wagons, procurement of our own BCACBM (high-capacity railway wagons) and NMG wagons. In April, 2018, we have taken two game changing decisions to allow handling of automobile from all container terminals and to allow loading automobile and auto spares in privately owned wagons in different directions for optimal utilisation of stock”.