Bengaluru: The Indian Railways has made huge profits even during the COVID pandemic. 

It said it has made a "remarkable turnaround" of 13.54 per cent in its freight revenue earnings in September this year when compared to the same month last year despite coronavirus-related challenges.

It said freight loading increased to 102.12 million tonnes in September this year from 88.53 million tonnes in the same month last year, a jump of 15.35 per cent.Resultantly, the Railways earned Rs 9,896.86 crore in September this year, an increase of Rs 1,180.57 crore compared to last year's earnings for the same month.The increase in freight revenue is 13.54 per cent, it said.

"In a remarkable turnaround, Indian Railways has earned more revenue in the month of September as compared to last year in spite of covid related challenges. Covid-19 has been used by Railways an opportunity to improve all round efficiencies and performances,” it added in a statement.

The freight basket for September this year included 42.89 million tonnes of coal, 13.53 million tonnes of iron ore, 6.3 million tonnes of food grains, 5.34 million tonnes of fertilizers, 6.05 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker), 3.85 million tonnes of clinker, and 3.52 million tonnes of mineral oil. Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said in a press briefing Thursday that they were currently working on the National Rail Plan 2030.

According to preliminary studies, the railways freight loading will be around 2,400 million tonnes by 2024 and by 2030, it will be around 3,200 million tonnes, he said.

"It is being envisaged that in 2030, out of the 3,200 MT loading, 1,400 MT will be coal, which is less than 50 per cent," said Yadav, indicating that he expects a variety of goods to be included in Railways' freight basket.