4 March 2015


Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in his maiden Rail Budget proposed a number of new services to provide more passenger amenities. The minister said Railways will spendRs. 12,500 crore on providing more amenities to passengers from 2015-19.

Railways will soon introduce a system through which people can check latest berth availability on running trains.

Integrated ticketing system on the lines of rail-cum-road tickets on Jammu- Srinagar route will be expanded.

IT Initiative

SMS alert service to be introduced for train arrivals and departures. The SMS service will inform passengers in advance the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.

Wi-Fi to be available at 400 railway stations


The e-catering service will be expanded to more trains to provide freedom for passengers to select their meals from an array of choices. Food can be ordered through the IRCTC website at the time of booking of tickets.

Water vending machines will be installed in more stations to ensure availability of clean drinking water at very low cost.

On-Board Entertainment System

On-board entertainment system will be introduced on select Shatabdi trains. Later, it will be extended to all Shatabdis, depending on the response.

Mobile phone charging facilities would be provided in general class coaches and the number of charging facilities would be increased in sleeper class coaches.

Air-Conditioned Suburban Service

Air-conditioned EMU service will be introduced on the Mumbai suburban sections.

Helplines and Safety

Toll free number 182 created for security-related complaint.

An all-India 24X7 helpline number, 138, will attend to the problems of passengers on a real time basis. Passengers will be able to call up for complaints while on trains. It will be functional soon.

Surveillance cameras to be introduced in select trains and suburban trains for women safety.

Reduction in Travel Time

The speed of 9 railway corridors will be increased from the 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.

Railways plans to introduce modern train system called train sets to providing better riding experience and about 20 per cent savings in journey time. These new trains will be similar to bullet trains in design and can run on existing tracks. The first set of these trains would be introduced within the next two years.


Railways will accelerate the shift to the use of bio-toilets in coaches. So far we 17,388 bio toilets have been installed and this year another 17,000 toilets is planned to be put in place.

The facility of online booking of disposable bedrolls at select stations is being extended to all passengers through the IRCTC portal on payment basis.

Train Capacity Increase

More berths will be made available through increase in number of coaches to meet the growing demand for seats. Further, capacity in select trains will be augmented to run with 26 coaches from the existing 24 coaches.

Station Services

The facility of self-operated lockers would also gradually be made available at stations. IRCTC also plans to provide concierge services at major stations for the assistance of passengers for their pick-up and drop.

Facts About Indian Rail Budget 2015:

1. No increase in railway passenger fares. A welcome move because reduce in oil price will autoamtically increase Railway’s profit.
2. No new trains announced in this Rail Budget.
3. An All India 24-7 helpline number 138 will become operational. Hope this facility will start soon, a much needed one. Toll free number 182 for Security complaints.
4. A mobile application to address complaints of people is also being developed. Will be easier for passengers to complain without any fear.
5. Operation 5 minutes to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within 5 minutes.
6. SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains.
7. Modern facilities for disabled citizens, senior citizens, patients through IRCTC. Basic facilities which is missing till now, but should be added soon.
8. In 400 stations wi-fi facility will be provided. Guess it will take time and won’t effect mass railway passengers.
9. Four Railway Research Centre in Selected Cities. Time will tell what benefits we will get from here.
10. Train Collision Avoidance System will be installed in High traffic rail lines. Another promise which should have been in place by now but hoping that this will happen soon.
11. CCTV Camera to be installed in Women Compartments. Added security features but need to be implemented soon.
12. Delhi Mumbai and Delhi Kolkata Journey to be covered over night.
13. Ticket Booking window will be extended to 120 days from 60 days. That’s a long window, may help reducing black marketing further.
14. High Speed Rail Between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
15. Speed of 9 Rail Corridors to be increased to 160-200 KM/Hour.
16. 6581 Crore sanctioned for Rail Saftey. It will be interesting to see how and when these money will be invested.
17. Mobile phone charging facilities in general class. A good and important move, why discriminate passengers of different coaches.
18. 917 safety work projects to eliminate over 3,000 unmanned crossings in all states.

19. 17000 more toilets to be replaced by bio-toilets.

Here are 25 key highlights:
1. Rs 8.56 lakh crore investment plan for the period 2015-2019
2. To increase daily passenger carrying capacity from 21 million to 30 million in 5 years
3. Increase track length by 20% to 1,38,000 kms over next 5 years
4. To increase freight carrying capacity from 1 billion to 1.5 billion tones in 5 years
5. Plant proposed to convert waste to energy
6. 17,000 toilets in coaches to be replaced by bio-toilets
7. All-India 24/7 helpline number 138 to be launched
8. Toll free number 182 to be launched for women and safety issues
9. “Operation 5 minutes” and hot button for purchase of universal tickets
10. Online booking of retiring rooms and wheelchairs on select stations
11. Rs 120 crore to equip major stations with lifts and escalators
12. Allotment for passenger amenities raised by 67%
13. Open bids for station development
14. 84% rise in capital allotment to develop 1200 kms at Rs 8686 crore
15. Evaluation studies undertaken for bullet trains
16. Innovation council called Kayakalp to promote technology development and manufacturing
17. Railway research centres to be set up in select universities
18. Introduction of bar coded/RFID for tracking of parcels and freight wagons
19. Upgradation of equipment for examination of tracks
20. To tap insurance and pension funds and also multi-lateral and bi-lateral funds
21. Development of unmanned audio and visual warning system at unmanned crossings with ISRO
Also Read
22. Special training in soft skills for frontline staff
23. To set up full-fledged university in 2015-16
24. Setting up environment directorate for focus on environment management
25. 1,000 MW solar plant with the help of MNRE

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