Rail Budget 2015: Key Recommendations and Highlights

Rail Budget 2015: Key Recommendations and Highlights

Q . “The Rail Budget 2015 is an innovative policy which will take Indian Railways to new heights of professionalism” Discuss in the context of key recommendations and highlights of the Rail Budget.

Key Recommendations

• Focus on existing high density corridors where increase in capacity is more affordable and rapid
• Improving “customer experience”
• Ensuring self sustainability of Railway finances
• Decision to leave passenger fares untouched and opt for changes to freight rates instead
• Electrification of 6,608 route kilometres in 2015-2016 as against 462 km in 2014-2015
• Expenditure of INR 96,812 crore in doubling/tripling/quadrupling and electrifying of rail tracks of around 9400 km
• Aim to make Indian Railways operationally effective and financially sound
• Projected improvement in operating ratio from 91.8% to 88.5%
• Thrust Areas for Improving Quality of Life in Train Journeys

Approaching the problem of financing (INR 8.56 lakh crore investment plan even as operating expenses are massive):

• Borrowing from multilateral bodies such as the World Bank
• Dipping into pension funds

Swacch Rail-Swachh Bharat Drive:

• Emphasis on cleanliness and creation of separate department for this
• Integrated cleaning through skilled private agencies and staff training
• Plants for converting waste to energy
• More toilets- coverage of 650 additional stations as against 120 in 2014
• Bio-toilets, airplane type vacuum toilets to be installed in coaches

Bed Linen

• NIFT or National Institute of Fashion Technology to create signature bed linen and online booking of disposable bed rolls at certain stations to be extended to passengers through the IRCTC portal following payment

• 24/7 helpline number 138 and toll free number 182 for safety and security complaints


• Unreserved class passengers can purchase tickets quickly through Operation 5 minutes
• New facilities included such as:
• Modified hot buttons
• Coin vending machines
• Single destination teller windows
• Aim to reduce transaction time for ticketing
• Differently abled passengers can purchase concessional online e-tickets following registration
• Multi-lingual e-ticketing portal to be available soon
• Integrated ticketing system such as rail cum road tickets to be expanded

Food and Catering

• Integration of best food chains for online e-catering
• Passengers given the facility to order food online via IRCTC website while booking tickets

New Technologies

• Handheld terminals for TTEs/Travelling Ticket Examiners for passenger verification and downloading of charts
• Extension of SMS facility on mobile phones as proof of travel for PRS tickets
• SMS alert for informing passengers regarding arrival or departure time of trains at starting or destination stations

Surveillance and Security

• Cameras for surveillance on pilot basis in certain mainline coaches and suburban coaches ladies compartment for ensuring safety without compromising on privacy

Entertainment and Recreation

• Entertainment on-board for specific Shatabdi trains as per a license fee basis
• General coaches to possess mobile phone charging facilities; numbers to be raised in sleeper class coaches as well.

Station/Train Amenities and Train Capacity

• As per the Adarsh Station scheme, more than 200 stations to be established
• Wi-Fi to be offered at Category B stations as well
• Provision of self operated lockers at different stations
• Concierge services to be provided via IRCTC at key stations
• e-booking of wheel chair on payment basis for elderly citizens, patients as well as differently abled passengers via IRCTC at certain stations
• National Institute of Design will create ergonomic ladders for climbing to upper berths and user friendly seats
• Percentage/quota of lower berths for elderly citizens will be increased
• Middle level coaches to be reserved for ladies and elderly citizens
• INR 120 crore rupees allocated for lifts and escalators
• Recently manufactured coaches will be user friendly for those with visual impairments; Braille enabled coaches
• Entrances will be made wider for differently abled rail passengers
• Corporate houses and MPs to improve amenities and facilities via Corporate Social Responsibility and MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) funds


• Rail tickets can be booked 120 days beforehand
• Speed on 9 railway corridors to increase by 200 km per hour
• Wi-Fi in greater number of stations, mobile phone charging amenities in train compartments
• Satellite railway terminals in key cities
• In over 2K stations in the coming 2 years, Centrally Managed Rail Display Network will be introduced
• Around 917 road under and over bridges to replace 3,438 rail crossings at a total of INR 6,581 crore
• 4 Railway research centres to commence in 4 universities
• Fund raising through partnerships with key stakeholders
• Collaborations with States, PSUs, multilateral and bilateral organisations
• Technology from abroad and efforts to improve last mile connectivity
• Expansion of rolling stock and modernisation of rail infrastructure
• Thrust on re-hauling management systems, processes and practices as well as re-tooling of HR
• Decongestion of networks with basket of traffic generation
• Rapid sanctions for 7,000 kms of double/third/fourth lines
• Commissioning 1200 km in 2015-2016 at investment of INR 8,686 crore 84% higher year on year
• Commissioning of 800 km of gauge conversion in the current financial year
• 77 projects for 9,400 km of doubling/tripling/quadrupling of works along with electrification in nearly all states at cost of INR 96K crore; 2700% higher in terms of sanctioned amount
• Traffic facility work on the agenda; outlay of INR 2374 crore
• Civil contracts of 750 km awarded; 1300 km of system contract in 2015-2016 on Dedicated corridors
• 55km section of eastern dedicated freight corridor to be completed in current fiscal
• PETS (Preliminary engineering cum traffic survey) for 4 other DFCs awaited
• Acceleration of railway electrification; 6,608 route kms sanctioned for 2015-2016; increase of 1330% from last year


Indian railways needs to work towards improving professional standards and infrastructure. Safety and security of passengers is also important. Rail Budget 2015 will go a long way towards ensuring the best ride to any destination.
Post your comment