Railway Budget 2024: New trains, record capex and safety focus expected
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2024 in Parliament on Thursday, February 1, 2024. The Railway Budget, which is no longer separately presented, was a part of her speech. Indian Railways, which is an important driver of economic growth, received a record capital expenditure of Rs 2.52 lakh crore for the next fiscal year.
Some of the key highlights for the Indian Railways in the Interim Budget 2024-25 are:
A record capital expenditure of Rs 2.52 lakh crore for the next fiscal year, which is an increase of Rs 12,000 crore from the previous year. This reflects the government's focus on infrastructure development.
Launch of three major economic railway corridor programs under the PM Gati Shakti scheme, which will enhance logistics efficiency and reduce costs. These are: energy, cement corridor; port connectivity corridor; and high-traffic density corridor.
Plans of upgrading 40,000 regular trains to Vande Bharat standards and expanding NAMO trains and metro rail services to additional cities.
Focus on safety, with infrastructure upgradation and track renewal as priority areas. The Interim Budget 2024-25 also announced the launch of the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), which will boost the freight capacity and efficiency of Indian Railways, and free up the existing tracks for passenger trains, reducing congestion and delays.
The Interim Budget 2024-25 also announced the modernisation of railway stations, with the redevelopment of various stations. The Railway Budget 2024 also announced the provision of Wi-Fi, CCTV cameras, escalators, lifts and other amenities at all stations. The Railway Budget 2024 also proposed to set up a National Rail Plan, which will provide a long-term roadmap for the development of Indian Railways. The National Rail Plan will also integrate the rail network with other modes of transport, such as road, air and waterways.