Outlining his vision for Indian Railways, Suresh Prabhu in his budget speech talked about four main goals that PM Narendra Modi government will work on to get railways out of its abysmal state. 

“We want to work on these four goals; to deliver a sustained improvement in customer experience; make railways a safer means of travel; modernise infrastructure of railways and expand capacity and finally make railways financially self-sustainable,” Prabhu elaborated. 

We take a look at the key highlights of his Rail Budget speech: 

1. No increase in rail fares 

2. Investment of Rs 8.50 lakh crore envisaged over the next five years 

3. 17,000 toilets to be replaced by bio-toilets; stress on ‘clean Railways.’ 

4. Railways allots 67% more funds for passenger amenities 

5. Nationwide 24*7 helpline announced (24*7 helpline 138 will be effective from 1/3/2015; Toll-free No. 182 for security complaints) 

6. Railways to raise finances via SPVs, partnerships 

7. Private agencies to be asked to set up waste-to-energy conversion plants 

8. Railways can play a prime role in poverty elimination 

9. Chronic underinvestment has led to poor development of Railways 

10. Railways to go through the transformation in five years; to increase track capacity by 10 per cent to 1.38 lakh km 

11. Rs 2000 crore for Coastal Connectivity Program; to commission 1,200 km fresh lines this year 

12. ISRO, RDSO, IIT Kanpur to help provide facilities for safety at unmanned level crossings 

13. 9 hi-speed corridors announced; work on Mumbai-Ahmedabad fast train feasibility study expedited 

14. SMS alert for arrival-departure services; reserved ticket booking window raised to 120 days 

15. Four-point goal: Improved customer experience, safer travel, better infra, financially self-sustainable 

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