[Notes] Interim Railway Budget 2014-15

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge left train fares and freight rates unchanged on Wednesday, in an interim rail budget ahead of a national election due by May.


* 90.8% Operating ratio (Money spent against every Rs 100 earned)  worse than last year’s 90.2%, 89.8% Projected for 2014-15

* No increase in passenger fares and freight charges

* 17 new premium trains, 38 express trains and 10 passenger trains to be launched

* Updates on passenger name record (PNR) status via SMSes.

* Premium AC trains with dynamic fares on Delhi-Mumbai route with shorter advance reservation period

* Indian Railways to explore options to raise trains speeds to up to 200 kilometres an hour on trains to Agra and Chandigarh from India’s capital. A feasibility study for high-speed trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is already under way.

* Passenger services to Katra, near the popular Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, to start soon. Trial runs on the extended railway line from Udhampur are under way.

* Railways to expand services to Meghalaya

* ‘Green Curtains’ to be set up at railways stations in Agra and Jaipur as a pilot project, which would involve constructing a boundary wall and landscaping around railway tracks.

* More high-speed trains to be launched

* Railways exploring low cost option of 160-200 kmph speed trains on select routes

* Rail Tariff Authority to advise on fares and freight

* Mumbai to get AC EMUs in July

* Annual Rail Plan envisaged at Rs 64,305 crore with a budgetary support of Rs 30,223 crore

* FDI being enabled for creation of rail infrastructure

* Railways to end current year with surplus

* Surveys for 19 new lines and 5 doubling of tracks

* Railways to encourage transportation of milk

* Steps to reduce running of empty freight carriages

* Bio-toilet facility to be provided in more trains.

* Online booking of retiring rooms at important railway stations.

* Online booking of meals on trains at several stations.

* Mobile phone ticketing to be started in the unreserved segment.

* Increasing the number of automatic ticket vending machines

* Trains to display info on next stations, arrival times

* More Jan Ahaar outlets, escalators at stations

* Upgradation scheme extended to AC Chair Car and Executive Chair car passengers

* 3 premium weekly Jai Hind Express trains from Bandra (Mumbai), Howrah, Yesvantpur

* Induction of Train Collision Avoidance System and smoke and fire alarm system

* Transporting milk in special parcel trains

* A new concept of hub for parcel business

* Freight loading target of 1,101 million tonnes — an increment of 49.7 million

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