Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today hinted that there may not be any cut in train fares in spite of the fall in diesel prices.
“Actually, the Railways recover only 50 per cent of the passenger cost they bear. So, there is already a huge element of subsidy (and passengers are getting benefits as passenger fare is subsidised),” Prabhu told reporters here.
To a query on high speed trains, Prabhu said the government is making efforts to define high-speed trains, but certainly the Railways is focusing on increasing the average speed of both passenger and goods trains.
“There is a misconception about high speed trains. The government is making efforts to define high speed trains, and the Railways is focusing on increasing the average speed of passenger and goods trains,” he said.
“Besides, the express trains are stopping at too many stops and failing to increase speed,” he added.
Prabhu said the government has a new programme and a strategy, which he will announce in the coming railway budget.
The Minister earlier flagged off the first direct train connecting Bengaluru to famous Hindu pilgrimage centre of Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Yesvantpur-Katra Weekly Express travels 3246 km in 56 hrs and 40 minutes to reach the foothills of Himalayas, near the mountain shrine of Vaishno Devi.
Prabhu also remotely flagged off three others trains – Patna-Bengaluru, Kamakhya-Bengaluru and Tatanagar-Yesvantpur Express – that started from the other end.