Railway Budget 2019 Highlights: Indian Railways achieves record, Vande Bharat Express in focus

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New Delhi | Updated:Feb 01, 2019 4:54:16 pm

Railway Budget 2019-20 Highlights: Vande Bharat Express was pitched by Goyal as the indigenous technology leap that will ensure speed, service and safety in rail travel.

Indian Railway Budget 2019 HighlightsRailway Budget 2019 Highlights ? FM Piyush Goyal

Railway Budget 2019-20 Highlights: Record Rs 1.58 lakh crore planned expenditure, safest year for Indian Railways, and a Vande Bharat impetus for ‘Make in India’ – Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s Railway Budget 2019 had points to cheer for the common man. For one, Goyal declared that Indian Railways saw its safest year! For another, train sets like Train 18, now Vande Bharat Express, will offer world-class travel experience to passengers in the coming years. Additionally, the operating ratio, a measure of Indian Railways financial health, improved and further improvement is being eyed. Goyal announced that the operating ratio for the current fiscal year has improved to 96.2% and in the next financial year the aim will be to have it at 95%.

Vande Bharat Express was pitched by Goyal as the indigenous technology leap that will ensure speed, service and safety in rail travel. As part of his Railway Budget 2019 speech, Piyush Goyal said that Vande Bharat Express is a ‘Make in India’ initiative that will help create more jobs as more such train sets are manufactured for service across the Indian Railways network. Piyush Goyal announced an outlay of Rs 64,587 crore for Indian Railways.

Highlighting Modi government’s big achievement on safety, Piyush Goyal said that his ministry has eliminated all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network. This feat was achieved on January 31, 2019, when the last unmanned level crossing was removed. No railway fare hike was announced in Railway Budget 2019, given the fact this is the year of Lok Sabha elections 2019. Doing away with the colonial ear practise of having a separate Railway Budget, Modi government merged the document with the main Union Budget from 2017 onwards. Yet, Indian Railways being the national transporter, finds a special mention in the Budget speech and this year will be no different.

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Railway Budget 2019 speech highlights:

16:54 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Indian Railways eliminates all unmanned level crossings

Indian Railways has eliminated all its unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network - a record milestone for the national transporter. Read about it, here.

16:25 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Vande Bharat Express

Vande Bharat Express, commonly known as Train 18, will usher a new travel era in Indian Railways. According to Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the indigenous 'Make in India'  Vande Bharat Express will offer 3 things to passengers. Read what they are here..

16:21 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: What a record!

Indian Railways, which is several times criticised for accidents and lack of safety, has made a unique record. According to Piyush Goyal, the gone year has been the safest for Indian Railways. Find out how Indian Railways achieved this record - full story here

16:13 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Operating Ratio target

Indian Railways, under Piyush Goyal, has improved its Operating ratio to 96.2% in the ongoing financial year. For the next year this target has been set at a lower level, still. Read the full story here

12:23 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Infrastructure vision

Indian Railways and other components of the infrastructure sector form the first important dimension of Modi government's 2030 vision for India. During the Budget speech, Piyush Goyal spoke of 10 important dimensions that will guide the government in its Vision 2030. According to Goyal next-generation infrastructure, both physical and social, for a $10 trillion economy will provide ease of living.

12:16 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Next-generation infrastructure

Piyush Goyal in his speech said that the governemtn envisions to create next-generation infrastructure. This will be on several fronts - Indian Railways, ports, roadways and waterways.

12:14 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Outlay

Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced a Rs 64,587 crore outlay for Indian Railways for the upcoming financial year 2019-2020 in his Railway Budget 2019 speech.

12:05 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Improving operating ratio

Looking to improve the operating ratio, Piyush Goyal in his Railway Budget 2019 speech said that for the upcoming financial year 2019-2020, an operating ratio of around 95% will be targeted by Indian Railways. He also revised the operating ratio estimate for ongoing financial year to 96.2%. The improvement in operating ratio is welcome news, since it is a measure of the financial health of Indian Railways.

11:55 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Major leap in indigenous technology

Piyush Goyal in his Railway Budget 2019 speech said that the new self-propelled Vande Bharat Express is a major leap in indigenous technology. This, he said, will help promote 'Make in India' further and create jobs.

11:53 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: World-class Vande Bharat Express

Speaking of the world-class indigenous Train 18, now Vande Bharat Express, Piyush Goyal said that the new self-propelled train will be a flag bearer of speed, service and safety.

11:52 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Safest year

Indian Railways has achieved the safest year in its history, Piyush Goyal said in his Railway Budget 2019. He spoke of the elimination of all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network.

11:50 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Infrastructure a backbone of development

According to Piyush Goyal, Indian Railways has gone beyond incremental improvements. All infrastructure sectors have performed well, he said in his Railway Budget 2019 speech.

11:46 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: SMART coaches

Indian Railways is making use of artificial intelligence to detect the health of not only coaches but also tracks. Several AI-enabled software are being used to make sure that any faults are detected early or can be prevented. Indian Railways recently rolled out a SMART AI-enabled LHB coach and plans to eventually make this a practise for all manufacturing in the future.

11:44 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Mission Raftaar

Indian Railways has been focusing on de-congesting its vast network and Mission Raftaar aims to improve the average speed of both passenger and freight trains. With several stretches of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFCs) opening, the network will free up for faster movement of passenger trains. This will improve punctaulity of trains and result in capacity augmentation.

11:37 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: New IRCTC website for ticket booking

Last year, Indian Railways completely revamped the IRCTC next-generation e-ticketing website to make it more convenient for passengers to book train tickets. Some notable features are being able to check train availability without logging in, wait list prediction etc. Piyush Goyal may mention the success of the new IRCTC website in his Railway Budget 2019 speech.

11:28 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Don't pay for food, if no bills!

Indian Railways, under Piyush Goyal, has said that passengers on trains should not pay for the food they purchase in case no bill is provided by the vendor for the same. Goyal has asked for the rates of food items to be printed inclusive of GST on tin plates, with a message sensitising passengers for the need of a bill. This will prevent overcharging on Indian Railways trains for food products.

11:25 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Upgrading Mail/Express trains

Under Project Utkrisht, Indian Railways is upgrading as many as 140 Mail/Express train rakes by the end of this financial year. The plan over the next few years is to upgrade as many as 640 Mail/Express train rakes. The aim is to improve the travelling experience of the common man. Given Modi government's claim of working to make life easier for the common man, this Indian Railways project may find a mention in Railway Budget 2019.

11:20 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Jobs bonanza!

Facing criticism over unemployment in India, Indian Railways has recently announced recruitment for additional 2.3 lakh people. These railway recruitments will take place over the next 2 years and the newly introduced 10% reservation for upper caste/general will be applicable on them. Piyush Goyal is expected to speak on these job opportunities in the Railway Budget 2019 speech.

11:18 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Airport-like railway stations

Indian Railways is developing its railway stations to give them an airport-like feel. The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) is undertaking the task of redeveloping several railway stations across the Indian Railways network. In the near future, Madhya Pradesh's Habibganj and Gujarat's Gandhinagar stations will be ready with swanky restrooms, and airport-like retail spaces for passengers.

11:14 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Big safety thumbs up!

It's a historic day for Indian Railways! With the persistent focus on safety, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has finally eliminated all unmanned level crossings. This is a big leg up for railway safety, given that people are injured or die while crossing railway tracks. On January 31, 2019, the last unmanned level crossing was sealed! Read the full story here

11:09 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Will railway fares be reduced?

Every year, Indian Railways passengers look at the Railway Budget for some relief on the fare front. However, given the strained finances of Indian Railways and the cross-subsidy that already goes into keeping passenger fares low, there is no chance of fares being revised down. However, given the fact that Lok Sabha elections 2019 are round the corner, the good news is that no fare hike is expected to be announced either.

11:06 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Speech begins!

Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has begun his Budget speech. Railway Budget 2019 speech will be a part of the main Union Budget 2019 speech. This is because in 2016, Modi government took the historic decision to do away with a separate Railway Budget.

11:03 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Future of Railway travel

Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has been stressing on the need to now shift to manufacturing to self-propelled train sets as world-over they are the international standards. With Train 18 trials successful, Indian Railways is looking to export trains sets and enter the $200 billion market for rolling stock world over. Indian Railways passengers can definitely look forward to better travel experience if such trains replace the old fleet of rolling stock on the Indian Railways network.

10:48 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Look forward to cleaner stations

Indian Railways has been focusing on improving the cleanliness standards of both trains and stations. Under the "Swachh Bharat" mission of the Modi government, all stations are carrying out regular cleanliness drives to sensitise passengers. 

10:42 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Revenue target

Not taking into account the challenging year that Indian Railways has had, Piyush Goyal is expected to project an ambititous revenue target. Reports suggest that the pegged revenue target may even exceed Rs 2 lakh crore for the upcoming financial year of 2019-2020.

10:35 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Vande Bharat Express a 'Make in India' success

Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is expected to highlight the 'Make in India' success story of Train 18, now called the Vande Bharat Express. Train 18 has been manufactured by ICF Chennai at around half the cost of a comparable import and is now being considered by Indian Railways for exports as well. Read the full story here

10:30 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Vote-on-account approval

Indian Railways will likely seek a parliamentary or vote-on-account approval for 4 months of additional capital expenditure of around Rs 40,000 crore. This is because the expenditure and plan for Indian Railways in the next financial year will be decided by the new government after Lok Sabha polls 2019.

10:23 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Train-18 like MEMU

Indian Railways is manufacturing Train 18-like MEMU sets for short-distances. These new trains are likely to replace slow-moving trains on the Indian Railways network over the next few years. With Train 18 bogies being used, the trains will be able to accelerate and decelerate faster. These new train sets are likely to be part of the Railway Budget 2019 speech. Watch this video to know the new Train 18-like MEMU.

10:19 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Operating ratio

The Operating ratio - a measure of Indian Railways financial health, is expected to be projected at around 95%. This is a marginal improvement over last year when Indian Railways saw its worst operating ratio at the end of the financial year at 98.5%.

10:13 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Borrowing for expenditure

Piyush Goyal is expected to peg the total borrowing for capital expenditure at Rs 26,000 crore in the Railway Budget 2019.

10:08 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal speech starts in an hour!

Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal's speech is expected to start around 11:00 AM. The Railway Budget speech will be a part of the main Union Budget 2019 speech.

10:06 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Bullet trains for Indian Railways

India will get its first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in 2022-23. Piyush Goyal is likely to talk of high-speed train networks for Indian Railways as the next level in the coming years.

10:00 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Train 18 is world-class all the way

Indian Railways fastest engine-less Train 18, or Vande Bharat Express, was exclusively previewed by Financial Express Online at ICF Chennai. Watch this video to know what's special about this self-propelled train that is the future of rail travel in India.

09:48 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Expenditure

According to reports, out of the total planned expenditure that will be announced, almost Rs 60,000 crore will be done via borrowings or Extra Budgetary Resources, Institutional Financing. No Parliament approval is required for such borrowings.

09:40 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Tata Group to go for Indian Railways biggest CSR

In a historic move, Piyush Goyal-led railway Ministry is roping in the Tata group to provide free high-speed WiFi on over 4,000 railway stations. The move will not cost Indian Railways a penny since it will be a part of Tata Groups Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Read the full story here

09:27 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Better passenger amenities

Indian Railways has been upgrading railway stations and trains to make them disabled-friendly and more passenger friendly. With steps like CCTV cameras, free WiFi, passengers needs are in focus.

09:19 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Brand India goes global

Indian Railways is eyeing the rolling stock trains export market. Recently, an India-funded Train 18-like MEMU was exported to Sri Lanka with world-class features. Watch this video of the new Indian Railways MEMU for Sri Lanka

09:09 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal's focus on safety

With several maintenance blocks through the year, Modi-led NDA government has in particular focused on upgrading old railway infrastructure to ensure a safe travel experience for Indian Railways passengers. The idea is to ensure that tracks are upgrading and modern signalling infrastructure is in place for seamless and safe train journey.

09:01 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019 expectations: Faster self-propelled trains

Recently, Indian Railways announced that it replace all slow-moving passenger trains on the Golden Quadrilateral with faster MEMUs (Mainline Electric Multiple Units). These self-propelled train sets will have faster acceleration and deceleration.  Read the full story here

08:46 (IST)01 Feb 2019
Railway Budget 2019: Focus on expenditure

According to Shri Prakash, former Railway Board Member, Indian Railways is focusing on expenditure related to maintenance work. He believes this is important to upgrade railway infrastructure which is ageing. Shri Prakash told Financial Express Online that the revenue earnings for Indian Railways may have improved, but with constant expenditure, the operating ration is unlikely to improve substantially.

Indian Railways has also been engaging is a massive recruitment drive in the last year, with over 1 lakh jobs under Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) being conducted. Recently, Piyush Goyal announced another 2.3 lakh jobs for Indian Railways over the next 2 years. These fresh 2.3 lakh jobs will come under the newly introduced 10% upper-caste/general reservation quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.
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