You are here: Home » Budget » Railway Budget » Top Stories
Business Standard

Next 5 years to change face of Indian Railways: White Paper

It was former railway minister Mamata Banerjee who had last presented a White Paper in 2009

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Indian railways will undergo a paradigm change with the introduction of faster trains, modern stations and skilled staff, according to the White Paper presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in Parliament on Thursday even as it stressed on the need for continued investments and resources for development.

“The next five years should change the face of Indian Railways. Faster trains, modern trains, swanky stations, skilled staff, should be the railways of tomorrow,” stated the White Paper tabled just before the was presented. It was former railway minister Mamata Banerjee who had last presented a White Paper in 2009. This time the government plans to bring out a Vision 2030 document later in the year which will contain a blueprint for long-term investment in the railways..

Read our full coverage on Union Budget


According to the White Paper, though there are several challenges before the railways in terms of resource constraints and stressed finances, an ambitious five-year plan has been drawn up.

“Its network is congested and finances are not easy to come by. Resources for development and replacement are stressed. It is finding it difficult to even meet operational expenses. But, the spirit is still alive. To make an attempt at resurrecting itself, Indian Railways has drawn up an ambitious five-year action plan,” it stated.

The White Paper also highlighted challenges that the railways face in terms of growing demands from consumers, quantum of investment and quality of delivery.

It has also highlighted certain areas that need “urgent attention” such as cleanliness, punctuality of services, safety, terminal quality, capacity of trains, food quality, passenger security and ease of booking tickets.

“The realisation is there that if the vicious cycle of under-investment is to be turned into a virtuous cycle of prosperity, crutches of support will have to be abandoned. Indian Railways will have to generate its own resources for its development,” the paper said.

It also stated that by 2020, Indian Railways will undertake measures to ensure delivery of safe and punctual services and increase average speed by 50 per cent and load to 1.5 billion tonnes.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, February 27 2015. 00:58 IST