Highlights of Rail Budget 2015-16

The 2015 Railway budget was finally presented by the Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. There were a lot of talking points about the budget, the major one being no hike in tariffs. In his speech, the Union Railways Minister talked about the pivotal areas for the Indian Railways to become the prime contributor to the economy again.

The Modi government had promised for a transformational budget earlier, and thus the people and other analysts had high expectations from it. For a period of 10 before 2012-2013, no fares were increased in railways. When the government did try to hike them, it was met with strong agitation among the public and eventually had to take it back.

The Railways will be working according to this budget till the next year so let’s get down to all the talking points about the budget:-

  • High Level of Service: – The next year is going to be crucial for the Railways and it will work according to today’s budget. The two things like customer experience and safer travel will receive a huge boost to enhance the Rail experience. An all India helpline number 138 will be launched from 1/3/15 along with a toll-free number: 182 for complaints. The minister further revealed that a mobile application is being developed to address the complaints and inquiries of the common people.
  • Rail Fares: It was declared in the budget that there will be no increase in the rail fares till the next budget. This is an important step as it has not been increased for some time now.
  • Private Sector in Railways: – The Indian Railways will team up with the private sector companies, PSUs and multilateral funding institutions for better funding and operations.
  • Better Ticketing Procedure: – With the announcement of Operation 5 minutes, the passengers travelling without reservation will now be able to purchase tickets in 5 minutes. Online ticketing will also get easier and smoother. The ticket holders will receive SMS alerts about the upgraded arrival & departure timings.
  • Announcement of Railway University During the Period: – The minister has announced the introduction of University about Railways and 3 Research Centres for better level of trains in the country.
  • No New Trains: – For the next year, no new trains will be added to the Railways. However, the rail connectivity for North Eastern State and J&K will receive a major boost. There will be more general class coaches added to select identified trains and more AC EMU services for Mumbai suburban section.
  • Revamping Safety Features: – Mr. Suresh Parbhu rightly said that loss of human life is too heavy a price to pay. The Railways has taken accidents seriously and introduced new technologies and options to reduce them as much as possible. Audio Visual Warning systems will be developed in association with ISRO for unmanned crossings. Planning of more and more over bridges and underpasses for reducing the number of levelled crossing is in the pipeline. There will be Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments along with the modern facilities for disabled citizens and patients by IRCTC.
  • Search for Better Solutions: – For the first time, the Railways will be taking the public ideas and opinions into consideration. There will be joint ventures with companies; the government will launch a technology portal to invite innovative solutions. A few routes have been identified where the Railways will install Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System for maximum safety.
  • Skill Development and Revenue Generation: – Railways will encourage skill development and self-employment on the basis of Konkani Rly model. The Railways will adopt bidding system for redevelopment of stations. They plan to generate revenue by increasing fare for freight trains except those carrying salt.
  • Expenses: – The Railways plans to spend over 1 lakh crore in 2015-16 while sparing the passengers of a fare hike. The estimated expenditure was Rs. 61,500 crores in 2014-15.
  • Speedy Trains: – However, India will not be getting the Bullet train anytime soon but the minister announced that they will introduce train sets saving 20% of journey time, similar to bullet trains in design that can run on existing tracks. The overall speeds of the trains on nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km.

The Budget has received mixed reactions from the analysts and people, but it is really about the time it delivers. Till then, the people of India will have to wait and watch if the “Transformational Budget” delivers for them or not.

Holi Special Train 2015 by Indian Railway

Indian railway scheduled 28 holi special trains for clear the holi festival rush. Here is the complete list of special trains;
  • 01047/01048 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT)-Gorakhpur – Single trip on March 4 and return to LTT on March 8 (single trip) from Gorakhpur.
  • 01027/01028 Mumbai CST-Varanasi Holi Special – Single trip from Mumbai on March 4 and return from Varanasi on March 5.
  • Premium AC train Nizamuddin – Allahabad – A superfast express and, it would depart from Nizamuddin railway station on March 5 and return from Allahabad on March 6.
  • 04931/04932 Varanasi – Delhi- Varanasi  (Tri – Weekly) Holi Special:-  19 Trips in each direction to run from 16.2.2015 to 31.3.2015.
  • 04403/04404 ANAND VIHAR TERMINAL – UDHAMPUR EXPRESS Tri Weekly Holi Special:- 13 Trips in each direction to run from 2.3.2015 to 1.4.2015.
  • 04992/04991 Jammu Tawi – Pathankot – Jammu Tawi  DEMU SPECIAL TRAIN (05 days a week except saturdat, sunday):- 21 Trips in each direction from 2.3.2015 to 31.3.2015.
  • 04921/04922 Saharanpur-Ambala-Saharanpur MEMU Holi special train :- (Daily):- 31 Trips in each direction from 1.3.2015 to 31.3.2015.
  • 04924/04923    Ludhiana-Chandigarh-Ludhiana Holi special train:- 31 Trips in each direction daily  from 1.3.2015 to 31.3.2015.
  • 04416/04415 Anand Vihar T –Lucknow Holi special weekly Train:- 4 Trips in each direction from 6.3.2015 to 29.3.2015 & 04418/04417 New Delhi – Lucknow express Holi special train (weekly ) 4 Trips in each direction from 7.3.2015 to 28.3.2015.
  • 04912/04911 Chandigarh – Varanasi-Chandigarh  express Holi special train (weekly):- 5 Trips in each direction 26.2.2015 to 27.3.2015.
  • 04924/04923 Nangaldam – Lucknow – Nangaldam Superfast express Holi  special train (weekly):- 6 Trips in each direction from 23.2.2015 to 31.3.2015.
  • 04410/04409 Delhi – Darbhanga – Delhi Bi-weekly Superfast express Holi Special:- 5 Trips in each direction from 27.2.2015 to 14.3.2015.
  • 04412/04411 New Delhi-Barauni-New Delhi Bi-Weekly express Holi special:- 5 Trips in each direction from 28.2.2015 to 15.3.2015.

Northern Railway Official Press Release Regarding Holi Special Trains in English – http://goo.gl/qo9jYQ

Northern Railway Official Press Release Regarding Holi Special Trains in Hindi – http://goo.gl/x58qxW

About Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

A luxury train from the stable of the Indian Railways, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels seeks to emulate the success of Palace on Wheels. Travelling by this luxury train allows an individual to visit several places of tourism, wildlife and historical importance.

History –

This luxury train began offering its service in January 2009, to tap the huge untapped demand for luxury tourism in the country.

Facilities –

  • The train has 14 luxury cabins named after royal palaces of the state. The cabins are further classified into deluxe and super deluxe suites and are laced with WIFI internet connectivity, Satellite TV, music systems and temperature control systems. Some of the cabins have the names Hawa Mahal, Padmini Mahal, Kishori Mahal, Phool Mahal and a super deluxe coach has been named Taj Mahal.
  • Two dining cars on the luxury train are named Swarn Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. Swarn Mahal sticks to the gold and brass plot, but the Sheesh Mahal is adorned with bright floor lamps and crystal pelmets.
  • The souvenir coach is where the passengers can select from a range of handicraft products and apparels to take back with them as souvenirs.
  • A spa and recreation zone is the latest development on this luxury train.

The Journey –

The train takes passengers on a 7 nights 8 day tour of tourist destinations in Rajasthan. It chugs off from Safdarjung station in Delhi on the first day and stops at Jodhpur on the second. Udaipur and Chittorgarh are covered on the third day; Ranthambhore National Park and Jaipur are for the fourth day; Khajuraho on day five; Varanasi and Sarnath on day six; Agra on the seventh day and return to Delhi on the eighth day.

The famous sites this train reaches are Hawa Mahal, Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Ranthambhore National Park, Chittorgarh Fort, Jag Niwas, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Agra Fort, and lastly, the Taj Mahal.

Description of Famous Tourist Sites –

Hawa Mahal –

Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the form of the crown of Lord Krishna and is called so because it was a screen for women in the royal family to witness street festivities remaining unseen to the outside world.

Ranthambhore National Park –

Located in the Sawai Madhopur district, Ranthambhore National Park is a tiger reserve spread over 392 sq kms. The best months for tiger spotting in the Reserve are November and May. Other animals in the wild, that one can expect to see, are leopards, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyenas, sloth bear and chital.

Chittorgarh Fort –

The fort is a World Heritage Site and is spread over 280 ha on top of a hill. It is the largest fort in India and by far the grandest too. The fort used to be the capital of Mewar, and today is located within Chittor city. Chittorgarh Fort is a majestic complex because of its historical palaces, gates, temples and two famous commemoration towers.

Taj Mahal –

The Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, is arguably India’s most famous tourist destination. It is a mausoleum of white marble built by the great Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in the loving memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded as the finest examples of Mughal architecture and has become renowned across the world for its remarkable elegance. Work on the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and was completed in 1653, with the services of thousands of artisans and craftsmen.

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels Route, Schedule & Time Table –
2014 2015
October-5, 12, 19, 26 January-4, 11, 18, 25
November-2, 9, 16, 23, 30 February-1, 8, 15, 22
Decmber-7, 14, 21, 28 March-1, 8, 15, 22, 29

 

For more details please visit – http://rtdc.rajasthan.gov.in/rrow.aspx

About 12779/80 Goa Express

Travelling by the Goa Express is a joy because the route it travels along is so picturesque. The train passes along the sun-kissed beaches of Goa, where you can see tourists from all over the world having a great time jumping and splashing around in the water. One is witnessed to friends chatting away beside the track, and the aroma of Goan cooking wafts into the train’s compartment.

Pink blossoms dangle from the boughs at such close distance that they almost tempt you to touch them as the 12779 passes by. The Goa Express allows you a peep into the heart of Goa’s pastoral life.

It then enters the forests of the Western Ghats, leaving you thrilled by the sheer speed at which it traverses the serpentine route and the mountainous terrain. If you observe keenly, a great number of waterfalls are visible, and their numbers only increase as the green landscape gives way to barren valleys and peaks. The 12279 is the only passenger train to emerge every day through the Dudhsagar Falls on the Braganza Ghats section!!

The glow of the setting sun, which complements the red clay of the surroundings, is simply a sight to behold as the Goa Express draws near to Londa.

Goa Express a High-Priority Super Fast Train –

The 12779 Goa Express is a high-priority superfast train that runs between Vasco Da Gama in Goa and Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi. Not only is it a high-priority super fast train, but it is also extremely important for the South Western Railway’s Hubli division.

Goa Express takes 39 1/2 hours for this 2,202-kilometre journey and travels through several other Indian states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It also travels through Rajasthan briefly, passing through Dhaulpur without halting.

This train can be considered to be akin to Andhra Pradesh Express and Karnataka Express, which connect their respective state capitals to New Delhi. Vasco Da Gama is the nearest railway junction to Panjim, as Goa’s capital remains out of reach by train.

Goa Express: A Historical Perspective –

Goa Express started operating in 1987. Thus, it began running even before the evolution of Konkan Railways. The rail links were meter gauge in Goa at the time, and Goa Express had to run with a broad gauge and meter gauge counterpart. The section between Vasco Da Gama and Miraj was meter gauge and between Miraj and Hazrat Nizamuddin was broad gauge.

At the time of inauguration, Goa Express was allotted the number 2479/2480 with Delhi division of Northern Railways responsible for its upkeep. After the entire journey had become broad gauge, maintenance was handed over to the Hubli Division and the train was allotted its present number.

Stoppages & Accommodation –

The Goa Express stops at several prominent locations such as Margao, Londa, Belgaum, Miraj, Sangli, Satara, Pune and Daund. It also halts at Manmad, Bhusawal, Khandwa, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra and Mathura.

Goa Express has 22 compartments: 2 AC 2- tiers, 3 AC3-tiers, 11 sleeper class, 3 general, a pantry car, and 2 Luggage-cum-Parcel brake vans.

Goa Express offers a great opportunity to passengers to revel in the verdant and pristine beauty of Goa state. The picturesque stretch between Vasco Da Gama and Londa Junction is something all passengers cherish for a long time after their journey ends.

  • 12779 Goa Express, Vasco Da Gama to Hazrat Nizamuddin Route, Schedule & Time Table –
Station Code Station Name Arrival Time Departure Time Stoppage Time
VSG VASCO DA GAMA origin 15:10 Origin
MAO Madgaon Junction 15:45 15:50 5 min
SVM SANVERDAM CHUCH 15:59 16:00 1 min
QLM KULEM 16:34 16:35 1 min
CLR CASTLE ROCK 17:35 17:40 5 min
LD LONDA JN 18:35 18:45 10 min
BGM BELGAUM 19:45 19:50 5 min
GPB GHATPRABHA 20:44 20:45 1 min
RBG RAYBAG 21:14 21:15 1 min
MRJ MIRAJ JN 22:25 22:30 5 min
SLI SANGLI 22:42 22:45 3 min
KRD KARAD 23:42 23:45 3 min
STR SATARA 00:35 00:40 5 min
PUNE PUNE JN 03:55 04:10 15 min
DD DAUND JN 05:35 05:50 15 min
ANG AHMADNAGAR 07:28 07:30 2 min
BAP BELAPUR 08:29 08:30 1 min
KPG KOPARGAON 09:14 09:15 1 min
MMR Manmad Junction 10:15 10:20 5 min
JL Jalgaon Junction 12:08 12:10 2 min
BSL Bhusaval Junction 12:35 12:55 20 min
KNW Khandwa Junction 14:55 15:00 5 min
ET Itarsi Junction 17:30 17:35 5 min
BPL Bhopal Junction 19:30 19:40 10 min
JHS Jhansi Junction 23:50 00:02 12 min
GWL Gwalior Junction 01:13 01:18 5 min
AGC Agra Cantt 03:00 03:05 5 min
MTJ Mathura Junction 04:00 04:02 2 min
NZM Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin 06:20 destination Destination
  • 12780 Goa Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin to Vasco Da Gama to Route, Schedule & Time Table –
Station Code Station Name Arrival Time Departure Time Stoppage Time
NZM Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin origin 15:00 Origin
MTJ Mathura Junction 16:42 16:44 2 min
AGC Agra Cantt 17:45 17:50 5 min
GWL Gwalior Junction 19:30 19:35 5 min
JHS Jhansi Junction 21:10 21:22 12 min
BPL Bhopal Junction 01:10 01:15 5 min
ET Itarsi Junction 02:45 02:50 5 min
KNW Khandwa Junction 05:30 05:35 5 min
BSL Bhusaval Junction 07:10 07:30 20 min
JL Jalgaon Junction 07:53 07:55 2 min
MMR Manmad Junction 09:45 09:50 5 min
KPG KOPARGAON 10:58 11:00 2 min
BAP BELAPUR 11:38 11:40 2 min
ANG AHMADNAGAR 12:47 12:50 3 min
DD DAUND JN 14:45 15:00 15 min
PUNE PUNE JN 16:20 16:35 15 min
STR SATARA 19:15 19:20 5 min
KRD KARAD 20:17 20:20 3 min
SLI SANGLI 21:27 21:30 3 min
MRJ MIRAJ JN 22:25 22:30 5 min
RBG RAYBAG 23:13 23:15 2 min
GPB GHATPRABHA 23:43 23:45 2 min
BGM BELGAUM 00:45 00:50 5 min
LD LONDA JN 02:05 02:15 10 min
CLR CASTLE ROCK 03:05 03:10 5 min
QLM KULEM 04:35 04:40 5 min
SVM SANVERDAM CHUCH 05:03 05:05 2 min
MAO Madgaon Junction 05:40 05:45 5 min
VSG VASCO DA GAMA 06:30 destination Destination