Railway Budget 2018: Key highlights

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Finance Minister, Arun Jaitely, announced the Union Budget 2018 – with an aim to focus on developing infrastructure – including railways. Revamping of signalling system, world-class trains and providing CCTVs and Wifi would continue to be the priority for the Modi government. The Railways budget definitely promises to transform the train travel experience. Here are the key highlights:

  • 1.48 lakh crore has been allocated for Indian Railways. Most of this capex will be dedicated to capacity creation.
  • 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives are on the way. The government has also initiated a major programme to strengthen infrastructure at the Goods sheds and fast track commissioning of private sidings.
  • Optimal electrification of railway network is a priority. The government is also focused on Physical targets of Indian Railways. During 2017-2018, 4,000 km of commissioning has been targeted.
  • Work on dedicated East and West freight corridors are in progress.
  • Government plans to create world-class modern train sets including Train 18 and Train 20. As per the Union Budget, Train 18 and Train 20 will be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.
  • Government plans to eliminate 4,267 unmanned railway crossing in next two years.
  • For passenger security, Wifi, CCTVs, at all stations and trains, would be introduced.
  • Modern train sets with state-of-the-art amenities are being designed at Integrated Coach Factory in Perambur and first such train-set will be commissioned during 2018-19.
  • For Mumbai local trains, an amount of Rs. 11,000 crore has been allocated to add 90 kilometres of double line tracks.
  • 18,000 km of doubling, third and fourth line works and gauge conversion of 5,000 km would be done in order to eliminate capacity constraints. In addition, complete conversion of entire network into Broad Gauge to take place.
  • Under Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a ‘Safety First’ policy is a key for the government to optimise passenger safety.
  • Track infrastructure is necessary and for that the government has targeted over 3,600 km for track renewal.
  • Other technology based measures will be taken by the government like ‘Fog Safe’ and ‘Train Protection and Warning System’.
  • 600 major stations to be redeveloped by Indian Railway Station Development and escalators will be introduced at railway stations with more than 25,000 footfalls.
  • At a cost of Rs. 40,000 crore, about 150 kilometres of suburban network is being planned. This will also include elevated corridors on some sections.
  • A 160 kilometres (approx.) suburban network at an estimated cost of Rs. 17,000 crore is provided for the growth of the Bengaluru metropolis.
  • An institute to train manpower for high speed rail projects will be set up in Vadodara, as the foundation stone of Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, India’s first high speed rail project was laid last year.

 

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