The Indian Railways plans to procure 7,000-8,000 new train sets over the next 15 years to make train travel more efficient and eliminate waiting lists
New Delhi: In a bid to meet the surging demand in passenger travel, the Indian Railways is gearing up for a massive investment of Rs 1 trillion in acquiring new trains over the coming years, The Economic Times (ET) reported. Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shed light on the upgrade that aims to cater to the nation’s evolving transportation needs and eliminate waiting lists in the long term.
The Indian Railways plans to procure 7,000-8,000 new train sets over the next 15 years. Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasised the goal of replacing ageing rolling stock, with tenders for the procurement expected to be floated in the next 4-5 years. This move aligns with the broader plans of enhancing passenger and domestic goods transportation capabilities.
Investment and infrastructure updates required
The national transporter aims to ferry seven billion passengers annually, projecting an increase to 10 billion by 2030. To meet this and to eliminate waiting lists, the number of daily trains needs to increase substantially. Currently, the railways are operating 10,754 trips daily and plans to add 3,000 more. The minister added that the railways expect to close 5,500 to 6,000 kilometres of new tracks, equivalent to 16 kilometres per day, by the end of the ongoing financial year itself.
The completion of the 1337-kilometer Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and progress on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor are catalysts for developing new industrial hubs and Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals. These initiatives aim to free up tracks, facilitating faster movement of both passengers and goods.
Minister Vaishnaw highlighted the need for a total investment of Rs 12 trillion in the Indian Railways by 2030 to keep pace with economic growth. This investment will also cover crucial aspects such as track laying, safety technology, and station upgrades.
For the financial year 2023-24, Indian Railways was given a budget Rs 2.4 trillion by the government. Of this, 70 per cent has already been utilised.