The Railways expect to achieve freight loading target of 850 million tonnes in the current fianancial year (2008-09) even as it sees a seven per cent increase in the number of passengers compared to the previous year.
Working expenses of the Railways are expected to increase substantially this year on account of the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.
Railways estimate an additional Rs9,000 crore on staff costs and Rs4,500 crore more on pensionary charges as compared to the previous year.
Total ordinary working expenses of the Railways has increased to Rs55,000 crore in the current revenue year while pension claims have risen to Rs10,500 crore. Railways has retained DRF at Rs7,000 crore.
Railways expects to keep dividend payable to the government at Rs4,711 crore. It has projected a cash surplus of Rs19.320 crore before dividend payment. Operating ratio has been kept at 88.3 per cent.
The revised plan outlay has been kept at Rs36,773 crore.
During the year 2008-09, the Railways saw a substantial reduction in the number of consequential accidents came down to 194 in 2007-08, according to the railway minister.
For the first time since Independence, the Railways made a big presence in the North East with a rail connection to Agartala, the capital of the Tripura. The Railways also commenced the first train service in Kashmir valley between Anantnag and Rajwansher, to be followed by Baramulla and Qazigund.
It has also completed successful trials for running electric locomotives with overhead equipment (OHE) at a height of about 7.5 metres in preparation for running double stack containers on electrified western dedicated freight corridor.
Work on eastern dedicated freight corridor commenced near Dehri-on–Son on 10 February. Work on western DFC is expected to commence this month.