Trains now won’t stop at ‘MP stops’

Trains linking Bihar and Kerala are among those which have the highest number of such stoppages.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi | Published:July 16, 2014 3:39 am
Trains linking Bihar and Kerala are among those which have the highest number of such stoppages.  (Source: PTI) Trains linking Bihar and Kerala are among those which have the highest number of such stoppages. (Source: PTI)

A long list of additional train stoppages, mostly cleared after pressure from local MPs, costs the Railways department about Rs 1 crore daily. Now, the cash-strapped ministry has decided to scrap as many as 1,250 such stoppages across the country.

While the ministry has told Parliament that the stoppages are being reviewed, sources confirmed that these will cease to exist by September.

An internal costing exercise done as part of the Rail Budget found that each additional stop was costing the Railways about Rs 8,000 on account of fuel and other operational expenses. On the other hand, the Railways was earning less than Rs 500 per stoppage.

The net revenue loss per year was estimated to add up to a whopping Rs 300 crore. The ministry’s bookkeepers unofficially refer to these stoppages as “silent killers”.

Trains linking Bihar and Kerala are among those which have the highest number of such stoppages. Of the total 2,400 such stoppages, 1,250 have been listed as commercially “unwanted and unaffordable”.

These stoppages were generally approved after MPs cited demand from residents. Most of these MPs have not been re-elected. Many of  them had agreed that the stoppage would be cancelled if it did not have the desired effect on ticket sales.

“For many politicians, getting a train to stop at stations of their choice served as a mark of their clout. So if they didn’t get projects or trains or other sops for their constituencies, they asked for at least a stoppage,” said a senior Railways official.

The ministry had asked its zonal chief operations managers to justify the continuance of these stoppages. However, some stoppages which are “socially desirable” despite being commercially unviable will remain.

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  1. G
    Girish
    Jul 16, 2014 at 6:23 am
    explain 'socially desirable' but economicaly unviable stoppages.
    Reply
    1. M
      Mohanraj Cp
      Jul 16, 2014 at 2:54 am
      13 Express trains do not stop at Coimbatore (2nd largest earner for Southern Railways.)But stop at all wayside stations in Kerala. Blatant misuse of power by Keralite dominated Southern Railways.
      Reply
      1. N
        Niladrinath Mohanty
        Jul 16, 2014 at 1:30 am
        An eminently good decision. With this sort of decisions Indian Railways will get into good health soon. In India we have too much of politics and less of economics. I am not against the under privileged individual.
        Reply
        1. V
          Vijay
          Jul 16, 2014 at 3:41 am
          It is a welcome step and a lessen to MP's who usually resort to cheap tactics to secure their vote bank.
          Reply
        2. H
          harry
          Jul 16, 2014 at 12:12 am
          High time Indian railways s those stations which are not viable, because at the end , it is the poor who pays the cost through increased fare.
          Reply
          1. C
            Citizen
            Jul 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm
            We abolished the princely states but this shows how our elected guys use their power to to manite and waste the tax payers money. The may even ask Air India to stop some where in the mid air if possible to show off their ego to their chamchas. Hope railways would clean this and save money. Jaihind
            Reply
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