Budget 2018 has set out new enforcement and modifications in almost every field. Likewise, it has made an attempt to reshape Railways in India.
Jaitley’s plan for Railways is ambitious yet realistic. His focus is on making it safe for passengers. New modifications need to be done for the railway tracks keeping in mind the recent derailment of trains throughout the country. So, he has kept his attention on repair and maintenance of tracks rather than laying out new railway tracks. Capital expenditure of ₹1.48 lakh crore will be made for maintenance of tracks and changing the narrow gauge lines to broad gauge throughout the country, transforming railway stations, production of upending coaches and bullet train project and other safety features. This is the highest allocated sum ever for this purpose in Railways. Out of this amount, 2028 crores will be used to reimburse the operational losses encountered by IRCTC’s e-ticketing. This is because last year the service charge for online ticketing was waived off which was ₹20 for sleeper class and ₹40 for AC classes.
There shall be WiFi and CCTV set up in every station and big railway stations which have been more crowded will be equipped with escalators. There are talks of using better signalling technology and implementation of fog safety devices in trains. Jaitley remarked that 600 railway stations across the country would be remodelled and witness modernization. 4000 km of rail network is ready for electrification.
The coming years, the government will work to provide world class trains. A new railway institute will also be established in Vadodara, Gujarat for training and skill development of workers and employees working under Railways project of high-speed trains. The Government would also try to improve the quality of suburban trains and their network in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru. Mumbai Suburban railways will get ₹10000 crores and an additional network are also planned for ₹40000 crore which would be modernized and will have elevated corridors. Bengaluru, on the other hand, will have its own suburban railway network pricing ₹17000 crore.