A number of steps have been taken up by Indian railways to develop infrastructure, modernize the system and improve operational efficiency by way of increasing Capital Expenditure (Capex), introduction of technology, partnership with stakeholders, prioritization of projects, tome bound execution, innovation financing and outcome-oriented action.
Major initiatives include the following:-
- Annual Average Capex has been doubled from ₹45,974 Cr in 2009-14 to ₹99,512 Cr in 2014-19.
- In Budget Estimate Capex has been further increased to ₹2.15 Lakh Crore.
- Various measures have been taken to expedite commissioning of projects.
- Assured finance through extra budgetary resources has been arranged for throughput enhancement works.
- Thrust has been on paper on proper project preparation, advance land acquisition, EPC contracts, mechanisation in construction and intensive project monitoring to increase pace of commissioning.
- Pace of construction of New Lines, Doubling and Gauge Conversion has been increased by over 70% from 1520 Km/year in 209-14 to 2,625 Km in 2014-20.
- Pace of Railway Electrification has been increased over 4.5 times from 608Km/year in 2009-14 to 2,737 Km in 2014-20.
- 100% electrification of Broad Gauge has been targeted by December 2023.
- Speed of Freight Trains have been doubled in 2020-21 to 46 kmph from 23 kmph in earlier years.
- All Unmanned Level Crossings on Broad Gauge were eliminated in Jan 2019.
- Upgradation of Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai to 160 kmph has been taken up.
- Upgradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes taken up.
- All North Eastern States have been connected with the Railway network except Sikkim where work is in progress.
- Wi-Fi has been provided in 5965 stations.
- Real Time Information System (RTIS) has been provided in 2700 electric locomotives for real time tracking of trains.
- Indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System(TCAS) has been introduced to minimise accidents due to human error.
Vision 2024 & National Rail Plan:
- Vision 2024 document has been prepared to develop infrastructure by 2024 to enhance model share of Indian railways in freight transportation.
- Capacity enhancement work like doubling/Multitracking have been prioritized into critical and Super Critical projects for time bound completion.
- A National rail Plan (NRP) 2030 has been developed with a view to develop infrastructure by 2030 to cater to the traffic requirements upto 2050 and increase modal share of rail in freight to 45%.
- The Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030.
- The NRP is aimed to formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight.
- To achieve this objective all possible financial models including Public Private Partnership (PPP) are being considered.
- Annual production of Safer LHB coaches has been increased by more than 10 times from 555 in 2014-15 to 6,277 in 2019-20.
- Production of ICF coaches has been discontinued since April 2018.
- Annual production of locomotives has been increased 3 times from 250 in 2014-15 to 784 in 2019-20.
- Vande Bharat Express, Semi High-Speed trains with modern passenger amenities have been introduced between New Delhi and Varanasi between New Delhi and Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Station.
- Indigenously manufactured 12000 HP Electric locomotives have been introduced for freight movement.
Dedicated Freight Corridors :
- 657 Km of Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) has been commissioned in 2020-21.
- Total 2843 km of DFCs is to be commissioned by June 2022.
- Out of 2843 km of DFC (1337 km Ludhiana to Sonnagar of EDFC & 1506 km JNPT to Dadri of WDFC), 657 km has already been commissioned.
- The salient features of DFC are as under:
- Maximum permissible Speed – 100Kmph
- Long haul and Higher Trailing load – upto 13000 tonnes per train
- Double stack trains on WDFC
- Efficient handling and value added services at freight terminals of DFC.
- Enhanced axle load of 25 tonnes
- Higher maximum moving dimension of Wagons
- Automatic Signalling with Mobile Train Radio communication
- Overall enhanced throughput
- 3 New Dedicated Freight Corridors have been identified namely East Coast corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada, East – West Corridor from Bhusawal to Kharagpur to Dankuni and North-South corridor from Itarsi to Vijayawada.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 24th March 2021.
Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Alstom