The Union Budget 2023-24 proposed a massive facelift for premium trains in India including Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Duronto Express, Humsafar and Tejas express. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced that the capital outlay for railways was hiked to its highest-ever at Rs 2.40 lakh crore. She highlighted that this was nine times the outlay provided in 2013-2014.
In the government’s plan to give railways a boost, over 1,000 coaches of premier trains will be refurbished. Trains included in the plan are Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Humsafar and Tejas. The plan includes modernising the interiors and improving the comfort of passengers.
Furthermore, the government aims to strengthen the rail transport infrastructure with manufacturing of 35 hydrogen fuel-based trains, as well as 4,500 newly designed automobile carrier coaches with side entry. It also plans to make 5,000 Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, as well as 58,000 wagons.
Train speeds will also be increased as the government aims to ramp up replacement of old railway tracks with significant allocation. Vande Bharat Express will be launched for more destinations.
The government also plans to enhance last- and first-mile connectivity for food grain, fertiliser and coal with 100 critical transport infrastructure projects. This will be done on a priority basis. Rs 75,000 crore will be invested, which will include Rs 15,000 crore from private sources, FM revealed. It also plans to manufacture 100 more Vistadome coaches.