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More state-of-the-art rail coaches in the offing with 64 pc hike in rolling stock allocation

PTI     February 1, 2019

(Eds: Updating with more details) New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Rail passengers are in for some faster, fancier and state-of-the-art coaches and trains in the coming fiscal with Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his first Budget increasing the allocation for railways' rolling stock by 64 per cent. The term rolling stock in rail transport refers to any vehicle that moves on tracks. It includes coaches, wagons and train sets. The railways' plan of exporting its coaches and be a part of the USD 200 billion rolling stock market worldwide will get a huge impetus by allocation of Rs 6,114.82 crore in the Budget. In 2018-2019, budgetary allocation in this regard was Rs 3,724.93 crore. Buoyed by the success of the indigenous Train-18 (named recently Vande Bharat Express) which has hit a maximum speed of 180 kmph during trials, the new air-conditioned rakes, rakes for the metros and other such coaches and train sets, the railways has already drawn a blueprint till 2021 to increase production in its factories. According to officials, if the target set by the railways for its factories -- the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and its factories in Kapurthala and Haldia -- is met, then they would together manufacture almost 15,000 coaches of different kinds in 2019-2021. These will include 200 Humsafar coaches, 290 Deen Dayalu coaches, 40 Antyodya coaches and other coaches for metros, electric multiple unit (EMUs) and mainline electric multiple units (MEMUs). The Railways is also planning to produce six more Train 18s at a cost of Rs 97 crore each. In the next three years, the railways will manufacture 884 Deen Dayalu - general category coaches, these will have padded seats, water dispensers and bio toilets. It will also manufacture 600 MEMUs - which will replace passenger trains in major cities in the coming years. "Capital support from Budget for railways is proposed at Rs 64,587 crore for railways in 2019-20. Announced a capital expenditure allocation of Rs 1.58 lakh crore for the Railways, the highest ever for the national transporter, in an effort to put its flagging revenues back on track," Goyal, who also holds the charge of the Railway ministry, said. Last year, the capital expenditure for railways was Rs 1.48 lakh crore while the budgetary allocation was Rs 5,50,88 crore. Goyal, who was given the charge of the finance ministry temporarily recently, presented the Budget 2019-20 in absence of Arun Jaitley, who is away in New York for medical treatment. Goyal said so far, the 2018-2019 financial year has been the safest for the Indian Railways and all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network have been completely eliminated. "The Vande Bharat Express, an indigenously developed semi-high speed train, will give Indian passengers world class experience. "This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs," Goyal said in his debut budget speech. PTI ASG NSD

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