Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnav Announces ₹1 Lakh Crore Investment in New Trains
The Indian Railways is set to undergo a major transformation with a planned investment of ₹1 lakh crore in new trains, according to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnav. This significant investment aims to enhance the rail network, improve the passenger experience, and boost the country’s transportation infrastructure.
“The goal is to replace aging rolling stock, for which 7,000–8,000 new train sets will be needed. Tenders for the same will be called in the next four to five years. This will entail floating train procurement tenders worth around ₹1 lakh crore, which will be honored over the next 15 years by replacing the older rolling stock,” Vaishnaw said.
Vaishnaw further said that the Railways has already utilized 70 percent of their ₹2.4 lakh crore budget for FY24, adding that progress in the track-laying project is going as planned. Adding, “We will need an investment of close to ₹12 lakh crore in the Indian Railways to cater to the current level of economic growth by 2030.”
The proposed procurement of trains will involve maintenance contracts and specific conditions mandating their production within India, leveraging existing railway infrastructure.
Advancing Railway Infrastructure
He also highlighted significant structural and procedural reforms that expedited capital spending within the railways. The capital budget is specifically earmarked for a substantial renovation, encompassing the enhancement of crucial infrastructure such as trains, tracks, safety technology, and stations.
On specific projects, the minister said that completion of the 1337-kilometer Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor will open up new industrial hubs and facilitate Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals. Around 80 percent of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor is also complete.
The announcement comes as part of the government’s commitment to modernize and upgrade the railway system, ensuring better connectivity and convenience for passengers. The investment will focus on the procurement of technologically advanced and energy-efficient trains, catering to both long-distance and suburban travel.
Additionally, the investment will contribute to the overall economic growth of the nation. The development of the railway infrastructure will create job opportunities, boost local industries, and stimulate economic activities in various regions.
The Railways Minister emphasized that this investment is a testament to the government’s commitment to the development and modernization of the railway sector. The focus is on leveraging technology and innovation to provide world-class facilities and services to passengers.
As the plan for the ₹1 lakh crore investment in new trains takes shape, it is expected to bring about a positive transformation in the Indian Railways, enhancing its efficiency, capacity, and overall passenger experience.