Indian Railways in a bid to increase its revenue from non-fare sources has decided to ship e-commerce consignments on its EMU services in non-peak hours.
The railways decided to start it on a pilot project on its Eastern Railways Zone. It carried out the trial runs from Sealdah to Dankuni. According to a statement the project will be carried out for a period of three months initially.
The pilot project is initially for a period of three months where total 7 MT of consignment per day has been allowed to be carried in the EMU trains.
The rate chargeable is that of Luggage Rate (Scale L – highest scale) i.e. ₹.5537/- per day. This pilot project of booking consignments in EMU service is the first of its kind in Indian Railways.
The consignment is allowed to be carried in vendor compartment alongwith other vendors in non-peak hours from 11.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs., thus causing no disruption/inconvenience to the existing system.
The project is to benefit both Railways and e-commerce company Amazon.
Indian Railways is expecting that it will be able to generate additional revenue without putting any extra stress or burden on an existing system whereas Amazon will be benefitted through reduced transit time.
The route from Sealdah to Dankuni was preferred by Amazon for quick movement of their consignment to the existing facility at Dankuni.
"The railways will be benefitted through generation of revenue, without putting any additional stress or burden on the existing system, whereas Amazon will be benefitted through a reduced transit time.
"The route viz. Sealdah to Dankuni was preferred by Amazon for quick movement of their consignment to the existing facility at Dankuni. Upon success of the pilot project, other routes may also be taken up by Amazon and other e-commerce companies may also be interested," the spokesperson said.
Upon success of the pilot project, other routes may also be taken up by Amazon and other e-commerce companies to have the benefit of penetration and quick transit time from Kolkata suburban Railway to suburban area of Kolkata.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways has also started its 'promotion on wheels' initiative, trains will made be available for promotion and publicity of art, culture, films, television programmes, sporting events etc.
The inaugural run saw cast and crew of 'Housefull 4' board the special eight-coach rake, which was vinyl wrapped with artwork from the film.