Railways Budget 2016: High speed rail, financial health, north-east connectivity on the agenda

NEW DELHI(PTI): The Railways will build coaches to run at a 200-km per hour speed at its Chennai facility in keeping with the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Introduction of AC rakes in the inter-city services to make the journey more comfortable will also be proposed in the Rail Budget 2015-16. As per this year’s Rail Budget proposal, it will manufacture a prototype rake consisting of 20 coaches for the 200-km per hour speed train at its Chennai coach factory. At present, the railways builds coaches to run at a maximum speed of 160-km per hour.

Besides indigenous manufacture of semi-high speed coaches for 200 km per hour, Railway Ministry will make a concerted effort to give fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Manufacturing of many locomotive components like cranks shaft, alternators and forged wheels will also be proposed to be undertaken indigenously instead of importing these parts from outside, sources in the railways said.

In his first Rail Budget, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu would be pitching for improving financial health of the ailing public transporter as well as passenger services. Prabhu, in his bid to make the railways disabled- friendly, is likely make proposal to prove for Braille signages in all new coaches to facilitate vision-impaired passengers.

Customer satisfaction will be a focus area of this year’s Rail Budget as a series of steps including air-conditioning of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains for inter-city services and noise reduction in diesel locomotive cabs are likely to be proposed, the sources said. An inter-city service covers up to 160-km distance and caters to mostly daily commuters. An attempt is being made to make the inter-city travel more comfortable and faster in the Rail Budget 2015-16, the sources said.

In order to promote north-east connectivity, Prabhu will also announce introduction of DEMU services in north eastern states as a national project.

The Rail Budget to be presented on February 26 will also propose world class manufacturing facilities in the country. Use of latest technology and automation to reduce manpower and better quality control at railway factories and workshops are likely to be announced.

Since many Premium trains with higher fares have been introduced to boost revenue collection, the railways will undertake an exercise for upgrading of coach interiors including redesigning user-friendly toilets. National Institute of Design (NID) is likely to be roped for redesigning the interiors of coaches, the sources said.

The Rail Budget will have provision for dustbins in all type of coaches as most non-AC coaches are at present not provided with this facility.

In line with the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, the railways will propose to cover 100 more trains under ‘On Board Housekeeping Services’ and proliferation of bio-toilets in trains and stations. Besides, six more stations will be covered under the Clean Train Station Scheme.

Posted by on February 8, 2015. Filed under Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.