National Railway Plan 2030 on the anvil

A National Railway Plan 2030 indicating the ongoing and proposed projects to meet the traffic requirements of the Indian Railways for both passenger and freight operations will be unveiled later this month.

This was stated by the first Railway Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav on Tuesday in an online interaction with the media.

"It is almost ready and will be released by December 15. We already have a business document for up to 2024 explaining about the list of works to be completed by 2030. The proposed plan will have these details as well the traffic requirements including the new freight corridors by 2050,” he explained.

The railways will also come out with a 'Zero' based Time Table system to reduce the travel times of the passenger, express and mail trains across the country from half-hour to five-six hours at least based on rationalisation of the existing train services, he said.

“This does not mean less number of trains or removing halts. On the contrary, more trains will be run based on the demand in the waiting list at increased speeds once the electrification of the entire network is completed," affirmed the CEO.

A 'scientific' study is under way looking into the poorly patronised passenger trains versus heavily booked trains and the halts. "Our endeavour is to see that in case a halt is removed for any station, the passenger will be able to get an alternate train service to prevent ny inconvenience as there won't be a section without halts," maintained Mr. Yadav.

Existing passenger short distance trains too are going to be converted into electric 'MEMUS' to speed up services and this will also help in reducing time in reversing trains to run more services.

The proposal was still under discussion and no final decision on any aspect has been taken therefore no need to believe any other information in this regard. "Whether we implement this system once the normal trains operations begin post-COVID or before, we will give an advance notice," he said.

Considering the current COVID-19 pandemic and situation yet to 'stabilise' the Indian Railways will continue to run 908 special trains with limited halts as against the usual 1800 trains in consultation with the State governments.

While 460 trains show 100% occupancy, 400 trains are having 50-100% occupancy and 48 trains have less than 50% occupancy. "Wherever there are waiting lists, we are introducing new trains and only confirmed reservations are being allowed to maintain social distancing," he said.

Mr. Yadav refuted reports of extra charges claiming "not a single rupee more" is being charged for the ongoing services and bed linen was never charged in the first place. "It is only for festival specials and clone trains the extra fare is applicable as per the circular issued in 2016," he said.

Passengers should carry their own blankets as AC inside coaches is being regulated to 22 degree C for winter (25 degree C in summer) and with more air circulation cycles so that there is not much difference with outside temperature as well as for ensuring cleaner air.

There has been an upstick in the freight movement last month, highest this year at 110 metric tonnes with most commodities transport showing a rise indicating a revival of industrial and economic activity, the CEO added)

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 5:22:06 AM |

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