Railway Statistics: Essential for planning prioritizing and exceeding activities connected with operation.

The railway statistics are based on four factors -

Duration and

In Railway environment these relate to –

1. Primary Units:

(a) Quantity  - Expressed as tones and number of passengers carried and earnings derived
(b) Distance - Expressed in kilometers.
(c) Duration - Expressed in minutes, hours & days
(d) Service performed - Expressed in terms of trains, vehicles, wagons & Engines.
2. Fundamental Units: Relationship between primary units, expressed in composite terms is called ‘Fundamental Units’. The fundamental units express two primary ideas in their relationship to one another viz.

Passenger kilometers,
Engine hours,
Wagon days etc.

3. Derived Units:

Expresses the relationship that exists between two sets of primary or fundamental units and the results thus arrived is termed ‘Derived Units.’ The process by which this relationship is ascertained is as illustrated in the following examples.

(a) Passenger earning (Primary) / Passenger carried (Primary) = Earning per passenger

(b) Passenger earning (Primary) / Passenger kilometers (fundamental) = Earning per passenger kilometer.

(c) Passenger kilometer (fundamental)/ Number of passenger (Primary) = Average distance traveled by a passenger also called lead of passenger traffic.

(d) Wagon kilometers (fundamental)/ wagon days (fundamental) = Wagon kilometers per wagon day.

These ‘Derived Units’ highlight special features of transportation output and are useful in evolving suitable management strategies.

Classification of Railway Statistics:

The principal heads under which the railway statistics are generally grouped are indicated below:

Economic and financial statistic:

Under this head are to be included detailed statistics relating to the advance statement of gross earning and traffic handled i.e. the number of passenger booked and tonnage lifted and wagons loaded for current information and the statistic of revenue and expenditure as booked in monthly and yearly accounts.

Operating statistics:

Common terms used in operating statistics:

1. Route Kilometer:  Distance of each gauge owned by a Railway including its worked lines, treated as a single line kms of double, triple etc. Tracks crossings at stations and sidings as also the track from the centre of terminal station to the end of the main line buffer stop are to be excluded. If any section of the line is worked entirely by another Railway or by electric power, or is opened for goods traffic, but not for passenger traffic or vice versa the kilometerage of that section is included.
2. Running track kilometer: In addition to the route kilometerage the extra distance of multiple tracks, i.e. double, triple etc tracks shall be treated as two or three or more tracks, but shall exclude the tracks in sidings, yard and crossings at stations.
3. Track Kilometer: Distance of each gauge owned by a Railway, including its worked lines treated as a single line and extra distance due to double, triple etc. tracks, as also the length of sidings, crossings at stations etc.
4. Mean route kilometer: The length of the Railway calculated according to the definition of route kilometerage allowing for changes in the kilometerage during the period covered. Thus, the mean kilometerage worked during the year, which has had an addition / closing during the year will be as follows:
Route kilometerage at commencement of a year plus / minus number of days the new section / section closed was in use during the year multiplied by the length of the new section / section closed divided by the number of days in the year.
5. Equated track kilometerage: The kilometerage of track equated to a standard unit by giving weightage for factors of traffic density, gradient, formation of soil, curvature, rainfall etc. This is worked out by the following formula:

                                           C = L x U (1 + A + B + C)

Where C = Equated track kilometers
L = Running track kilometers
U = Traffic Density
A = Soil factor
B = Curvature
C = Rainfall factor

The figures of equated track kilometers are worked out section-wise and gauge-wise. This formation is utilized by the engineering department for the employment of gangman for the maintenance of track. The number of men required depended mainly on the number of trains run over the section. More wear & tear of the track; more will be the number of men required for maintenance.

Operating statistics are broadly being divided into:

(i) Traffic (ii) Power (iii) Rolling Stock

(i) The traffic statistics include statistics of wagons loaded, wagon mobility, wagon usage, train loads, train mobility, productive and unproductive services, wagon detention, marshalling yard, terminal goods station and punctuality.
(ii) The power statistics include engine usage, fuel and energy consumption, and engine failure statistics etc.
(iii) Rolling stock holding & availability, repairs maintenance percentage 

Commercial statistics: Coaching and freight revenue and volumes and earnings by class of passengers, for different commodities, claims paid for compensation of goods and parcels lost or damaged Rolling stock and workshop repair statistics:

Under this head are grouped statistics dealing with POH of coaches, wagons, locomotives and other information relating to workshop activity.

Administrative Statistics:

These statistics relating the staff matters, numbers, by categories and classes of staff.

Other Statistics

Number of stations by
Class, halt stations,
Standard of interlocking
Medical statistics related to sickness of staff etc.
Engineering statistics give details of track and bridges requiring attention – ultra sonic tests done or overdue, track renewals, distress bridges etc.

Compilation of Railway Statistics:

1. Compilation of statistics of Indian Railways falls broadly under two categories, namely (i) the statistics required to be complied by the railways for submission to the Railway Board in order to keep the Board generally informed about the different activities of the Indian Railway and (ii) further detailed Railway statistics which individual railway may undertake for their own respective domestic requirements.

2. The statistical compilation work on the Zonal Railways is in the charge of a Statistical Officer working under Finance deptt. The format and the methods of compilation of the monthly Statistical statements and the Annual Statistics required to be submitted to the Board are detailed in the Manual Statistical instructions, Volumes I and II respectively.

Operating Statistics:

1. Operating Statistics for the various Indian Railways are issued in the form of various pamphlets published periodically by the Railway Board. Detailed Statistics relating to each division and gauge are contained in various parts of the ‘Domestic’ statistics issued quarterly (Parts I, II & II-B & C)

2. Some of the important statistics include.

Operating ratio: The ratio of workings expense (excluding suspense but including appropriation to Depreciation Reserve Fund and Pension Fund) to Gross Earnings. (Expenditure incurred in connection with Administration, Operation, Maintenance and repairs of line open for traffic)

A – Passenger Train performance.


Punctuality is the main criterion for judging passenger train performance, some of the statistics compiled separately for ‘Mail and Express trains’, ‘Other Passenger Trains’, and ‘Mixed’ trains are:

RT = Trains arriving Right Time
NLT = Trains not loosing time

Vehicle kilometers per Vehicles Day:

This figure indicates by the vehicle days which are the product of average number of coaching vehicles on line/in use and number of days in the period under reference.

This figure indicates the extent to which coaching vehicles are kept ‘on the move’. The main factors affecting its value are:

(a) The average speed of trains
(b) The average length of train run (average load)
(c) The idle periods provided for in rake links.

3. Since in the short run, train composition is not susceptible to change, it is only by increasing the speeds of trains and tightening up rake links that an improved performance can be achieved.

4. This result is calculated by dividing the coaching vehicles kilometers by the vehicles days which is the product of average number of coaching vehicles on line and the number of days in the period under reference.

Average Speeds:

This figure represents the average time tabled speeds of passenger trains. The higher this figure, the better the service to the passengers. 

Shunting kilometers per 100 Train Kilometers (Passenger including proportion of mixed):

1. This figure indicates the amount of unproductive service that has to be performed per 100 train kilometers (Passenger including proportion of mixed). Since the amount of shunting to be done on a passenger train depends upon various local factors, the figure will vary from Division to Division and from Railway to Railway, traffic conditions remaining constant, is indicative of wasteful shunting.

2. The figure is arrived at by multiplying by 100 the quotient of shunting kilometers divided by train kilometers (passenger including proportion of mixed). It can be depicted by formula given below:-

B- Wagon Usage

Average Starting Wagon Load:

1. This figure is compiled separately for coal and coke, heavy merchandise and light merchandise, thus affording an indication of the extent to which wagon space is utilized by stations from which traffic originates. It is extremely important that wagons be given as full a load as possible because this means economy, in wagon usage and hence engine power and less strain on line and yard capacity. Even a slight improvement in the starting wagon load can mean a tremendous saving to the Railway.

2. The result is calculated by dividing the number of tones loaded by the number of wagons loaded (in terms of four wheelers), CR and TR vans as also wagons used for live stock and departmental purposes, however, are excluded.

Wagon Kilometers per Wagon Day:

1. This figure is a measure of wagon mobility and indicates the average number of kilometers moved by a wagon, on the average, per day, both loaded and empty journeys been included. Delays in marshalling yards, delays at stations when loading or unloading, delays in clearance from roadside stations, decrease in average speed of goods trains, increase in the number of wagons awaiting repairs, and shorter loads of trains are some of the factors normally responsible for poor mobility.

2. This result is obtained by dividing wagon kilometers by wagon days which is the product of daily average number of wagons on line and number of days in period.

Net Tonne Kilometers per Wagon Day:

1. This unit is a measure of the revenue earning work done by the wagons and reflects both mobility and loading. A decrease in this figure may be due interalia to any of the causes which effect the figure of wagon kilometers per wagon day. The proportion of loaded to total wagon kilometerage, the average loaded wagon and the relative amount of heavy and light merchandise carried, are some of the other factors which may effect this figure.

2. The numerator in this case is the net tonne kilometers (excluding departmental) and the denominator wagon days.

Wagon Turn Round:
This future expresses the ratio between the total number of serviceable wagons on a Railway and the number of wagons required daily for effective use on the railway for its outward, inward and transshipment traffic. Stated in different way, wagon turn round represents the average period of time in which a particular wagon completes its average loaded trip and after which it again becomes available for loading.

Average Wagon Load during the Run:

1. This unit is a good index of wagon utilization as it refers to the average load of all loaded wagons carried. It suffers from the draw back that it does not directly reflect the performance of the division, gauge or railway to which it applies, as only a proportion of the loaded wagons carried is loaded locally and the balance
consists of both received traffic and cross traffic.

2. For obtaining this figure net tonne kilometers are divided by loaded wagon kilometers, (the figure relating to departmental trains are excluded).

Goods Trains Performance:

Average Speed of Goods Trains:

1. This result is calculated separately for ‘through goods trains’ and all goods trains and is arrived at by dividing the total train kilometers by total train engine hours of the concerned service. Detentions to goods trains at roadside stations enter into the calculations and have therefore the effect of bringing down average

2. Some of the factors on which the average speed of goods trains depends are: 
(a) The proportion of the density of trains to the sectional capacity. The nearer a section is worked to its sectional capacity, the proper the speeds obtained.
(b) Hauling power of the engines used, quality of coal and quality and adequacy of water supply standard of maintenance of engines and time taken by loco pilots for loco requirements.
(c) Loads of trains.
(d) Condition of rolling stock, particularly the brake power available.
(e) Standards and maintenance of signalling and interlocking.
(f) Facilities at watering stations, facilities at roadside stations to complete shunting in the minimum time and shorter block sections which will increase the sectional capacity.
(g) Engineering restrictions – permanent and temporary gradients and curves.

Average Net Train Loads (in tones):

This figure refers to the average freight load carried in tones, i.e., to that portion ofload which earns revenue for the railway.

Average Gross Train Loads (in tonnes): This figure represents the average overall load of goods trains i.e. the freight load plus the weight of the rolling stock.

The principal factors affecting this figure are:
1. The tractive capacity of engine on goods train services.
2. The gradients on various sections of the line.
3. The nature of goods carried.

2. However, for the same division or / railway, the pattern of traffic remaining the same, rise in this figure is indicative of wasteful shunting.

Net Tonne kilometers per Engine Hour:

The figure of net tonne kilometers per Engine hour is a very useful index of the
efficiency of freight working on a division. Net tonne kilometers indicate the
amount of revenue earning work done while engine hour measure the cost of if
doing it.

A decrease in net tonne kilometers per engine hour may be due to factors such as:

1. Shunting engine hours not using cut down in proportion to the decrease in traffic offering.
2. Increase in departmental, assistance required, assisting hot required and light engine running.
3. Decreasing in the average train and or the average speed of goods train.
4. Decrease in the average starting wagon load or in the wagon loads of wagons received from other divisions.
5. Increase in the proportion of unbalanced traffic.
6. The type of traffic carried heavy or light.

Average Detention per Wagon:

1. All wagons
2. Through loaded wagons.

Detention suffered by stock in a yard depends, inter alia, on the layout of the yard and on the number of trains per day that can be dispatched in various directions. Target figures have bee laid down for each yard for detentions to all wagons and through loaded wagons. Such targets take into consideration the condition of work and facilities available in the yard concerned. Detentions in excess of this figure indicate inefficient yard work. Lesser detentions mean lesser cost of handling wagons in yards.

Number of Wagons Dealt with per Shunting Engine Hour:

The number of wagons that a given yard can deal with per shunting hour depends, inter alia, on its layout. Accordingly a target figure has been prescribed for each yard to enable the efficiency of yard work to be gauged. As shunting involves cost, the higher this result, greater the efficiency of the yard.

Locomotive Performance

Engine Kilometers per Day per Engine in Use:

This figure is compiled separately for passenger, mixed and goods train services as well as for all services refers to ‘engines in use’. This is affected by such factors as:
1. The average run of trains.
2. The average speed of trains.
3. The engine links.
4. The location of engine shed with respects to the stations which they serve.

Engine Kilometres per Day per Engine on Line:

This figure is also compiled by services and for all services put together. The proportion that this figure bears to the corresponding figure of ‘engine kilometers per engine day per engine in use’ indicates the proportion of available engines ‘on line’ that were put to effective use during the period in question.

Quantity of Fuel Consumed per Engine Kilometers by Services:

This figure indicates the fuel consumption in relation to Engine Kilometers only
and does not replace the tonnes hauled.

Quantity of Fuel Consumed per 1000 Gross Tonne Kilometres by Services:

This figure indicates the fuel consumption in relation to the work done and is, therefore, a better index of fuel consumption than the quantity of fuel consumed per engine kilometer figure. The main factor that influences this result is the gross load of the train. It is derived by the formula given below:

Quantity of Fuel Consumed x 1000 Gross Tonne kms.
Traction Energy consumption per engine km and per 1000 gross tonne kms is worked out exactly in the same way, replacing 1000 litres of diesel by kwhs.


Operating Ratio is the ratio of the total working expenses excluding suspense but including appropriations to DRF and Pension fund, bear to its gross earnings. In other words, it represents the percentage of Working Expenses to Total Earnings.

Operating Ratio has been regarded as one of the most important financial statistics and has frequently been used as an index of the operating efficiency of a Railway. This ratio continues to be worked out from year to year and is reflected in the accounting system. In comparing the ratio of one year with another of the same
Railways, great care must be taken to see that the terms “Working expenses” and “Gross earnings” are clearly defined and that the figures have been compiled on the same basis. The object of a Railway Administration is to keep this ratio as low as possible consistent with efficient working and good maintenance; it will tend to fall with efficient working, increase of traffic and fall in expenditure.

Steps to reduce the working expenses:

1. Downsize the staff (closure of unproductive units, multi skilled labor,computerization etc.)
2. Achieving efficiency in fuel usage (reducing detention to trains, avoiding wastage of fuel, efficiency in train running, detention to a Diesel train for 1 hour incurs nearly Rs. 3000 extra expenditure)
3. Privatization
4. Leasing out the sidings to Private operators.
5. Introduction of ‘Wagon Investment Scheme’
6. Phasing out Vacuum Braked rolling stock.
7. Reducing the incidents of claims.
8. Setting up ‘Power Station’ for Railways in coordination with NTPC.

Steps to Increase the Earnings in Railways:

I. Freight:

1. Keep the targets for increased freight movement and achieve it.
2. Vigorous marketing strategy
3. Multi Modal Transport
4. Recapture the lost piecemeal traffic
5. Decentralization of powers
6. Incentive offers to the loaders.

II. Coaching:

1. Good customer care
2. Run coaching trains with increased capacity
3. Run special trains like summer specials, pilgrimage specials, Mela specials etc.
4. Palace on wheels, village on wheels improved tourism activities.
5. Introduce EMU, DMU rakes for medium distance travel.
6. MMTS, Metro Rail, etc., to cater to the needs of suburban dwellers.
7. Full computerization
8. E-Ticketing and full-fledged operation of IRCTCL
9. Leasing out SLRs
10. Reducing the incidents of accident


Leasing out the railway land, Technology transfer through RITES, IRCON to other countries like Malaysia, Bangladesh, Mexico etc., Leasing out Telecom lines through Rail-tel Corporation. Consultancy and maintenance service for procurement/maintenance in ‘own your wagon scheme’ Supply of quality food and
water (Rail Neer) through IRCTCL. Display of private advertisements in Railway area, coaches, etc.


This is the Ratio which the Volume of passenger traffic bears to the carrying capacity of the train or Carriages of a particular class and is expressed as-

It is an Index which gives the incidence of overcrowding in trains:

a) It gives the trend of passenger traffic class wise and the extent of overcrowding over the different sections of the line or the line as a whole.
b) It helps the commercial and operating officers to regulate the passenger train service by providing required stock, particularly in these days when the public demands more facilities whereas the Railway has to utilize its stock efficiently and economically. The Commercial Department arranges special trains on fairs and
c) This information when obtained section wise helps to increase or decrease the load of the train at articular stations by attaching/detaching passenger carriages.

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