Railway Budget 2016

Here are the main announcements made this year to make train travel more enjoyable
Railway Budget 2016

&mdashTrains will be 95% punctual by 2020.

&mdashConnecting the North East with the rest of India is a priority. To this end, the government opened a broad gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, to extend train connectivity to the Barak Valley. Agartala has been brought under the broad gauge network and Mizoram and Manipur will be connected to the broad gauge network with the Kathakal-Bhairabi and the Arunachal-Jiribam projects.

&mdashWork on the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link goes on. 35km of tunnelling out of 95km completed. The important Jalandhar-Jammu line will be fully decongested by next year.

&mdashFor ease of access for customers, the Railways will set up a dedicated IVRS system to seek feedback. Retiring rooms can be booked online for transit travellers on an hourly basis. Also mobile charging points are now available even in general class coaches.

&mdashThe Senior Citizen quota per coach will go up by 50%, which will mean almost 120 new lower berths per train for senior citizens. There will also be more reserved middle bays for the safety of women passengers. Apart from this, 33% reservation to women in the reserved quota will be introduced.

&mdashFree WiFi services will be implemented at 100 stations this year, and at 400 more stations by 2018.

&mdashThe Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express uses the world&rsquos first bio-vacuum toilet. There will be 17,000 new bio-toilets this year, as well as new toilets at 475 stations. You will be able to get toilets cleaned by sending an SMS, called the &lsquoClean My Coach&rsquo service.

&mdashOvernight double-decker trains called Uday Expresses will be introduced. The Railway Ministry had introduced the Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to provide old and specially abled passengers with assistance at stations. This will be expanded to more stations. Under this, now passengers will be able to book battery operated cars and porter services as well. Specially-abled-friendly toilets at A1 class stations will also be provided. A new train called Humsafar Express was announced with fully-airconditioned third AC service with an operational service for meals.

&mdashTo help travelling mothers, a special children&rsquos menu will be made available on trains on a pilot basis. This will include baby foods, hot milk and hot water, as well as changing boards for babies in train toilets.

&mdashA high-tech network of 20,000 screens across 2,000 stations called the Rail Display Network will enable real-time flow of information to passengers.

&mdashPassenger amenities and beautification of stations will be undertaken at pilgrimage centres like Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni, Varanasi and Vasco. A new service called the Aastha Circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres.

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