In the next four years, you can hope to reach Delhi from Howrah in just 12 hours boarding a superfast train. Similarly, the journey from Mumbai to Delhi could be completed in just 10 hours.
The railways has set the target to increase the maximum speed of trains on these routes to 160 kmph to cut down the travel time between the national capital and financial capital by five hours and save five-and-half-hours’ journey time between Delhi and Kolkata. The fastest trains now (Rajdhani) can run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph.
This is among the clutch of proposals that the railways has finalised as a part of its 100-day agenda under the second edition of the Narendra Modi government. The railways estimates spending of about Rs 13,500 crore in shoring up the national transporter’s infrastructure over the next four years.
According to a circular issued by Railway Board chairman V K Yadav, enhancing track infrastructure on these two busy routes is necessary as they account for nearly 30% of passenger and 20% of total freight traffic on the rail network. Yadav has instructed officials to initiate immediate action to start implementing the plans by August 31 and the ministry has sent the proposals to the PMO.
Sources said Yadav on Wednesday shared the details of the targets including the plan to bring in private players to run passenger trains on select routes at a meeting of Group of Secretaries on infrastructure.
TOI on Wednesday reported the move by railways to open up the passenger segment for private entities and the plan to launch a mega campaign to pursue people to “give up” the concessions that they can avail while buying tickets.
The railways has also proposed to obtain all approvals in the next 100 days to eliminate 2,568 level crossings on Golden Quadrilateral and diagonals with rail over bridges and rail under bridges. It has estimated spending of about Rs 50,000 crore in the next four years for this and the entire funding will come from Centre.
This will be level two government intervention to do away with level crossing. Earlier, the government had eliminated “unmanned level crossings” either with ROBs/ RUBs or by deploying people after installing gates. Constructing of ROBs and RUBs will ensure seamless traffic movement across the tracks.
Other targets include obtaining Cabinet approval for a digital corridor for railways with provision of 10 MHz spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band for railways which will enable it to increase trains’ carrying capacity due to increase speed potential, improve operation during fogs and improved security. Other proposals include providing Wi-Fi at all 6,485 railway stations, starting a pilot for an advanced signalling system, jump-starting process redevelopment of 50 railway stations and restructuring of the Railway Board.
Source: Times of India