Key Takeaways from the Rail Budget

There was keen interest from all quarters in the Rail Budget – the first one of the Narendra Modi government. Let us analyse it and see if this is the beginning of the ‘Acche Din’ –

  • E-Ticketing Services will be improved so that about 7200 tickets can be booked per minute and 120,000 users can be accommodated simultaneously on the website. This is a great step as there are lots of complaints on the online booking services.
  • Effort to provide online booking of railway retiring rooms and platform tickets will be made. A plan to popularize booking of tickets via mobile phones and post offices will be in place which will make ticket booking convenient in urban and rural areas.

rail budget

  • When my uncle was in Europe, he was amazed to see business travellers easily finishing a lot of work on their travel between two cities because of the high quality trains and availability of network and power facilities in some of them. Similarly Internet (wifi facilities) and Workstation Facilities will be provided in some of our trains which certainly is a good sign.
  • 58 new trains are being launched which is a good sign as capacity had to be increased. Railways is an efficient public transportation system that is cost effective and more environmentally more friendly.
  • Ready to eat food and pre-cooked food of reputed brands will be available on trains. This will hopefully mean more choices and more hygiene. Vendors supplying unhygienic food will face the risk of losing their contract. Filtered Drinking water will be provided in stations. Food courts are planned to be built in major stations so that people have many interesting and hot food options. These are steps in the right direction to provide convenience to travellers. Of course this might mean that the age old ritual of packing dabbas for a train journey will stop which was part of the enjoyment of a long train journey.
  • Cleanliness and sanitation is given importance in this budget as 40% of higher allocation is given to this aspect. Outsourcing of cleanliness management in 50 stations is also approved. This is really necessary as quite a few train stations in the country do not satisfy even basic hygiene standards.
  • Onboard Housekeeping services will be available in all trains which means laundry services for the linen provided will be available within the trains.
  • The budget has mentioned to introduce high speed trains in certain corridors. The trains will run 160km-200km per hour which is great as it will save travel time for passengers if implemented properly.
  • There is emphasis on safety as there will be increase in the recruitment of RPF personnel. It is also planned that 4000 women constables will be recruited. There is budget allocated for over bridges and under bridges so that people need not cross railway tracks and unmanned level crossings can be eliminated.
  • A bullet train has been proposed between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Though it needs a lot of work and is just planned for 1 route, it hopefully promises modernisation and more such facilities throughout the country.

There are many positive things promised in the budget. If they are implemented in a cost effective manner with appropriate quality standards maintained, it will definitely be good for us.

What do you think of the Rail Budget. Which of these facilities would help you the most?

This article is written by our Para Planner Ravi Varyani.


  1. Cleanliness should not have been made part of the Railway Budget. Railways are required to maintain cleanliness of the railways and it is mandatory to maintain cleanliness. If the cleanliness is not maintained yet, it is a lapse on the part of railway authorities and administration. Administration should be taken to task and ensure that they do it. E-booking is a welcome initiative. The question is how it is implemented and how user-friendly this initiative can be. I find the present Railway Budget is a populist railway budget as practically no fares are increased. Bullet Trains from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is a not a new idea. It was planned and kept in cold storage by UPA who failed to find suitable financial backing for the project. Railway Ministry should be able to run Railways in a profitable manner and should not be used as a populist tool. Even if the railway fares are to be increased, it should be done. When the Railways run prfitably all modernisation, including Bullet Trains, cleanliness and other projects can be undertaken without demanding substantial outside support.

  2. Why is the railways website Railways friendly and not traveller friendly? e.g. Suppose I try to book a ticket using debit card and it fails, my Rs 3k is deducted. My money is gone and ticket is not generated. Refund would take a week. I don’t have enough balance in debit card (in excess of 3k) to try and good another ticket. And in my experience, that has failed too… i.e. twice failed. What does the consumer do?
    The railways started a Wallet system, i.e. prepaid money with them, but they have themselves discouraged the system by asking a steep fee of Rs 250 for using the Wallet system.
    Now, when u want to book a ticket or in the process of booking, the available ticket becomes wait listed after the long process of online payment processing. Why shouldn’t railways lock the seat for me while I do the payment?
    They are anti-consumer !

  3. Efforts on capacity of E-Ticketing Services will be an advantage. Moreover, Focus thrown to the completion of previous pending projects rather to announce new new projects is really a positive steps.
    Tickets from Post Office will also be an advantage for urban citizens.

  4. A Minister cannot obviously please everybody in his budget, but it seems a fair one aimed at bringing the railways back on track.

    The positives for me are efforts to improve the cleanliness, passenger security, e-ticketing, provision of wifi services and better retiring rooms and the introduction of 160 kmph trains & the Bullet train.

    However, the negatives would be the touch of populism in introducing as many as 58 new trains ( I’d rather have the Minister focus his resources on the efficient running of the existing ones), setting up of a Rail University (absolutely no business of the Railways) and scant attention to the mechanical and electric components of safety like brakes, signalling, anti-collision systems and manned level-crossings.

    I am also a bit apprehensive regarding the selection process of “reputable” vendors for catering, and would love the tendering process to be transparent.

  5. It’s good to share knowledge , In my point this budget was above good because it focus on current problems rather than creating any fore there problems. I saw a announcements in this budget those are enhancing capabilities of e-ticket, more focus on cleaning and hygienic, fast and security.

    But, some flips also there, how does they get funds for this, i think they don’t have a proper idea about it. It’s not easy to get funds through PPP model.

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