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Rail Budget 2016: 10 key takeaways from Suresh Prabhu's speech

From introduction of new trains to increased WiFi connectivity and in-house entertainment, a look at what stood out in the Rail Budget so far

BS Web Team  |  Mumbai 

Suresh Prabhu
Hope we'll be successful in addressing the needs and aspirations of people of country, said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Photo courtesy: ANI Twitter handle

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Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu highlighted the need to overhaul work culture and ethos to take on the challenges faced due to global slowdown and the Seventh Pay Commission.

The ministry decided not to raise passenger or freight fares, stating that alternative revenue modes will be exploited.

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Read full text of Railway Budget speech

“This is a Budget fashioned by a creative partnership,” he said, while presenting his second Railway Budget in the Parliament on Thursday.

Business Standard takes a look at key announcements from the the minister's speech.

Economic Health

The Railways set an ambitious operating ratio target of 92% in 2016-17 against 90% in 2015-16 due to higher-than-expected earnings.

Meanwhile, it expects revenue of Rs 1,84,820 crore in the next year, 1.1% higher than revised a target of FY16. Rs 40,000 crore is expected as budgetary support from the government, Prabhu said.

New Train Categories

The minister announced introduction of three new categories of trains. They are listed below:

1.Tejas: Trains with operating speed of 130 kmph, which will have world-class on-board services

2.Hamsafar: Fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals

3.UDAY: Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-Conditioned train with increased carrying capacity of 40%

Key Decisions

WiFi services will be commissioned at 100 stations in this year, and shall be increased to 400 stations in the next two years, Prabhu announced.

The minister announced increasing lower berth quota for senior citizens in rail coaches which will be raised by 50% in 2016-17

Forty four new projects have been sanctioned, covering 5,300 kms and costing Rs 19,000 crore, he said.

Food Services

Children’s menu will now be separately available in trains.

To cater to mothers and their babies, baby food, hot milk and hot water will be made available, Prabhu announced.

In-house entertainment

The Centre has proposed inviting FM Radio Stations for providing train-borne entertainment by installing public announcement (PA) systems in trains

Mumbai Focus

The minister announced elevated corridors between Churchgate and Virar and CST and Panvel.

We are also looking to staggered timings in government offices to reduce peak load, he added.

Action Plan

The minister said that it was focusing on improving rail infrastructure and that Rs 8.5 lakh crore would be spent over five years for modernisation of railway infrastructure.

LIC has also agreed to fund 1.5 lakh crore in the next five years, he added.


The railways is targeting to increase punctuality to 95% and thereby increase average speeds of trains across categories, Prabhu said.

Make in India

The minister announced setting up of two new loco factories under Make-In-India plan with an order book of Rs 40,000 crore .


New Delhi to Chennai, East and West Coast connectivity projects will be put on fast track, Prabhu said in the Parliament today.

A decision has also been taken to set up a Rail Auto Hub, the first-of-its-kind in Chennai, he added.

First Published: Thu, February 25 2016. 13:11 IST