Railway Minister Set Sights On Zero Waiting Lists, Plans 3,000 More Train Trips Per Day: Report

The Indian Railways reportedly plans to spend ₹1 lakh crore on new trains to meet increased passenger demand, with the ambitious aim of eliminating the need for waiting lists.

What Happened: Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that 70% of the ₹2.4 lakh crore financial year 2024 capital budget is already used, Economic Times reported. The goal is to replace old trains, requiring 7,000-8,000 new sets over 15 years.

This is reportedly part of a larger effort to enhance train availability, free up tracks and ramp up trip frequency. To support projected economic growth by 2030, a substantial ₹12 lakh crore investment in Indian Railways is essential, Vaishnaw said.

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To expedite spending, significant reforms were made, ensuring efficient use of the capital budget the minister said. It focuses on a comprehensive overhaul of critical infrastructure like trains, tracks, safety tech and stations.

Completing the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and 80% progress on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will create new hubs, freeing up tracks for faster movement, he added.

Why It Matters: Operating 10,754 daily train trips, Indian Railways aims to add 3,000 more for zero waiting lists. Annual passenger counts, projected to reach 1000 crores by 2030, require a 30% increase in trip numbers, Vasihnaw explained.

Train procurement will include maintenance contracts, mandating manufacturing in India. Track laying progresses as planned, with expectations to add 5,500 kilometres to 6,000 kilometres of new tracks this fiscal year.

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