The Indian Railways will run 2,872 special trains across the country during summer to clear the extra rush of passengers during the holiday season, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Tuesday.
“These special trains will have 4,326 coaches to ensure even the wait-listed passengers are able to travel. As hundreds of college students from north India and Bengal study in far-away places like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, we want them to reach their homes quicker,” Ms. Banerjee said at a railway function.
The railways will also provide an additional 1,562 berths for ensuring reservation from stations en-route.
As part of its massive expansion, Ms. Banerjee said her ministry would take up new infrastructure projects such as automobile hubs and logistics parks to leverage the 113,000 acres of vacant railway lands across the country.
“We plan to develop 10 automobile hubs across the country. One such park has already been developed at Shalimar in Howrah division. Of the remaining nine automobile hubs, one each will be set up in Bangalore and Mangalore in Karnataka,” Ms. Banerjee said before flagging off three new trains in the South Western Railway zone.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was present on the occasion, said his government would increase the budgetary allocation for the state’s share in the railway projects to Rs.600 crore in the next fiscal (2010-11) from Rs.243 crore in this fiscal (2009-10).
“We will submit a feasibility report on the public private partnership projects to the railway ministry by next month,” Mr. Yeddyurappa added.