Say goodbye to waitlisting! Indian Railways readies plan to purchase new trains worth Rs 1 lakh crore – Times of India

The Indian Railways is set to acquire new trains worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the coming years to meet the increasing demand for passenger travel, according to Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The primary objective is to replace the aging rolling stock, which will require around 7,000-8,000 new train sets. Tenders for this will be issued within the next 4-5 years, he said.
The process will involve floating train procurement tenders worth approximately Rs 1 lakh crore, with the older rolling stock being replaced over the next 15 years, Vaishnaw told ET.
This initiative is part of a larger plan to upgrade the Indian Railways, which aims to increase the availability of trains for passengers and goods by optimizing tracks and increasing the number of trips.Zero wait-listing on Indian Railways?
Currently, the Indian Railways operates 10,754 daily train trips and plans to add 3,000 more to eliminate waiting lists. Compared to pre-COVID-19 years, the Railways is already running an additional 568 trips. This enables the transportation of 700 crore passengers annually, a number projected to reach 1,000 crore by 2030. The minister stated that a 30% increase in the number of trips is necessary to eliminate waitlisting in the passenger category, except during peak demand months, by the end of the decade.

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The proposed train procurement orders will include maintenance contracts and conditions mandating that they be manufactured in India, utilizing the existing railway infrastructure.
Track infrastructure
Vaishnaw highlighted that track laying is progressing as per plan, with an expected completion of 5,500 to 6,000 kilometers of new tracks by the end of the current fiscal year, averaging 16 kilometers per day. In comparison, 5,243 kilometers of tracks were laid in the fiscal year 2022-23, averaging 14 kilometers per day.
The completion of the 1337-kilometer Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and the majority of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will unlock tracks for faster movement of passengers and goods. These developments are also catalyzing the establishment of new industrial hubs and Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals.
The Railways minister mentioned that 70% of the Rs 2.4 lakh crore capital budget for FY24 has already been utilized, and track laying is progressing as per the plan.

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Vaishnaw further emphasized that an investment of nearly Rs 12 lakh crore will be required in the Indian Railways to cater to the current level of economic growth by 2030.
To expedite capital spending, the Railways has implemented significant structural and procedural reforms, resulting in the effective utilization of the capital budget. The capital budget is allocated for the comprehensive modernization of key infrastructure, including trains, tracks, safety technology, and stations.

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