On Track for Progress: Indian Railways' Game-Changing Rs 1 Lakh Crore Investment in New Trains, Ending Waitlisting Era

On Track for Progress: Indian Railways' Game-Changing Rs 1 Lakh Crore Investment in New Trains, Ending Waitlisting Era

New Delhi - Indian Railways is gearing up for a massive investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in acquiring new trains over the next few years, aiming to meet the rising demand for passenger travel. Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw disclosed that the primary objective is to replace aging rolling stock, requiring approximately 7,000-8,000 new train sets. He indicated that tenders for this ambitious plan will be issued within the next 4-5 years.

The procurement process involves floating tenders worth around Rs 1 lakh crore, with the phased replacement of older rolling stock anticipated over the next 15 years, as stated by Vaishnaw to ET. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to modernize Indian Railways, focusing on optimizing tracks and increasing the frequency of train services for passengers and cargo.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate waitlisting on Indian Railways, which currently operates 10,754 daily train trips. An additional 3,000 trips are planned to be added to address this issue. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Railways has already increased the number of daily trips by 568 compared to pre-pandemic levels. The annual passenger capacity is expected to rise from 700 crore to 1,000 crore by 2030, requiring a 30% increase in trips to eliminate passenger waitlisting by the end of the decade, except during peak demand months.

The proposed train procurement orders will come with maintenance contracts and a mandate for manufacturing in India, utilizing existing railway infrastructure.

Ashwini Vaishnaw provided updates on track infrastructure, reporting progress in track laying with an expected completion of 5,500 to 6,000 kilometers of new tracks by the end of the current fiscal year. This averages around 16 kilometers per day, an improvement from the previous fiscal year's average of 14 kilometers per day.

The completion of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and significant progress on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor are expected to enhance the movement of passengers and goods. This development is also contributing to the establishment of new industrial hubs and Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals.

Vaishnaw emphasized that 70% of the Rs 2.4 lakh crore capital budget for FY24 has already been utilized. Furthermore, he stressed the need for an investment of nearly Rs 12 lakh crore in Indian Railways to accommodate the current level of economic growth by 2030. To expedite capital spending, the Railways has implemented structural and procedural reforms, ensuring effective utilization of the capital budget for comprehensive modernization, covering trains, tracks, safety technology, and stations.

The comments posted here are not from Cnews Live. Kindly refrain from using derogatory, personal, or obscene words in your comments.