A Vande Bharat express train sets off to Bhubaneswar from Visakhapatnam.
A Vande Bharat express train sets off to Bhubaneswar from Visakhapatnam.FILE Photo | G Satyanaraya, EPS

No separate records on Vande Bharat's profits, says Railways in response to RTI plea

Railways says over 2 crore passengers have used Vande Bharat trains since launch; trains covered a distance equivalent to 310 Earth rounds in 2023–24.

NEW DELHI: The Railway Ministry doesn't maintain any separate revenue generation records for Vande Bharat trains, according to the ministry's response to an application under the RTI Act.

Madhya Pradesh-based Chandra Shekhar Gaur sought to know how much revenue the Railway Ministry has generated from Vande Bharat trains in the past two years and if it made any profit or loss on their operation

“Train-wise portability is not maintained,” the Railway Ministry said in its response.

Vande Bharat is the country's first semi-high-speed train, which was flagged off on February 15, 2019 between New Delhi and Varanasi. Today, 102 Vande Bharat trains run on 100 routes, covering 284 districts in 24 states and Union territories.

On Monday, the Railways officials said that over 2 crore people have travelled by Vande Bharat trains since its first launch.

The officials also informed that the distance the Vande Bharat trains covered in the financial year 2023-24 is equivalent to taking 310 rounds of the planet Earth.

Gaur expressed surprise and said that Railways maintains the number of people travelled and distance covered by Vande Bharat trains but it doesn't maintain the most crucial information regarding the revenue generation.

“The Railways officials can calculate distance travelled by Vande Bharat trains in a year vis a vis their equivalence to total rounds around the Earth but it doesn't have total revenue collected from these trains,” Gaur said.

He added, “It is very important for the Railways to maintain a separate record of revenue generation status from Vande Bharat trains because these are India's first semi-high speed new generation trains and its profitability will establish its real popularity.”

So far as occupancy is concerned, the Railways, in response to another application under RTI filed in October last year, said that overall utilisation of Vande Barat trains is over 92 per cent, which the Railways officials say is an encouraging figure.

“Vande Bharat trains are doing extremely well on some routes while on some other routes their occupancy is average but if you see the overall utilisation, it is quite significant,” an official said.

The New Indian Express