Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu has announced the railway budget for the financial year 2015-16. The key announcements are mentioned below for the benefit of users.

railway budget
railway minister railway budget speech in parliament

Railway Budget Highlights

  • No increase in train fare: Passenger fare is not increased, as expected. However, one expected a slight decrease especially after recent low in fuel prices.
  • Advance Reservation Period (ARP) increased: Railway reservation can now be done 120 days in advance as opposed to 60 days at present.
  • Unreserved Tickets in 5 mins: Now Railway will issue train tickets even for general class inside five minutes. Under "operation 5 minutes" unreserved tickets can be purchased by smartphones, and by automatic ticket vending machines through smart cards.
  • Focus on cleanliness in train: To improve the of life in journeys for travelers, railway will focus on cleanliness in coaches. Now a disposable bedding will be provided, and regular cleaning operation will be conducted inside the trains during journeys. Bio-Toilets will also be fitted so that bio degradable waste can be disposed off properly.
  • Ladies Security: To provide ladies safe journey CCTV's will be installed in all ladies coaches. Apart from it one can dial a toll free number 182 if needed immediate security. Money from "Nirbhaya Fund" will also be used for better security of women in trains.
  • Complaint Resolution: A 24 by 7 real time complaint redressal helpline number 138 number is introduced. Railway customers can call it on anytime to get register their grievances and ask railway customer care executive to address it and provide solutions, if any.
  • High Speed trains: Speed of 9 railway corridors to be increased from existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight.  
  • More General Class Coaches: Train capacity will be increased and now train will be augmented to run with 26 coaches. There will be more unreserved general class coaches in trains.
  • Comfortable Journey: Seats will be improved for comfort and ladders will be fitted to easily climb up the upper tiers inside the multi-tier coaches. There will be seats, lower berths, kept aside specifically for senior citizens and pregnant ladies. TTE's will now have responsibility to see that senior citizens,handicapped, and pregnant women occupy the lower berths.
  • No New Trains: People are used to announcement of new train run in every rail budget, but this year no new trains are announced as railway focuses on improving railway infrastructure and passenger amenities in existing rolling stock.
  • Station Alert: Passengers will be alerted 30 mins before the arrival of their destination.
Total amount of 8,56,020 crore is allocated this time. For more information you can download the complete railway budget highlight PDF.

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