Highlights of Railway Budget 2016 - 2017

Highlights of Railway Budget 2016 - 2017

India's most awaited Indian Rail Budget 2016 - 2017 announced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today ( February 25 , 2016). Following are important aspects of this budget

Theme of the Budget

  • Overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways
  • Three pillars of the strategy i.e. Nav Arjan – New revenues, Nav Manak – New norms, Nav Sanrachna – New Structures.


By 2020, long-felt desires of the common man to be fulfilled 
  • Reserved accommodation on trains available on demand, 
  • Time tabled freight trains, 
  • High end technology to improve safety record, 
  • Elimination of all unmanned level crossings,
  • Improved punctuality, 
  • Higher average speed of freight trains, 
  • Semi high speed trains
  • Running along the golden quadrilateral, 
  • Zero direct discharge of human waste.
For Passengers
  • Interaction and feedback through social media and dedicated IVRS system.
  • Making travel comfortable by generating over 65,000 additional berths, 
  • Installing 2,500 water vending machines; 
  • Introducing ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern refurbished coaches; 
  • 17,000 bio-toilets in trains; world’s first Bio-Vacuum toilet developed.
  • Braille enabled new coaches introduced for the Divyang, 
  • Increased quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women, 
  • Middle bays reserved in coaches for women.
  • Wi-Fi provided in 100 stations, to be provided in 400 more.
  • Stations being redeveloped 
  • Security through helplines and CCTVs.
  • Energy will produce directly 
  • Rail University at Vadodara.
  • Application of Track Management System (TMS) launched as part of Digital India 
  • Hourly booking of retiring rooms will be handed over to IRCTC.
  • Skilling front-end staff.
  • Information boards in trains enumerating the on-board services 
  • GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts. 
  • Installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations for enabling real time flow of information to passengers and also unlock huge advertising potential. 
  • All A1 class stations will be manned with duly empowered Station Directors supported by cross functional teams; to make one person accountable for all facilities on trains.
  • Operations audit for Ghaziabad to Mughalsarai section.
  • Introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines, 
  • Mobile apps and Go India smart card for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets, 
  • Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and to support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier.
  • One-time registration for availing concessions while booking tickets online, 
  • Online booking of wheelchairs 
  • Sale of tickets through hand held terminals
  • e- ticketing facility to foreign  debit/credit cards
  •  bar coded tickets, scanners and access control on a pilot basis. 
  • Expansion of Vikalp – train on demand to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait listed passengers. 
  • E-booking of tickets facility on the concessional passes available to journalists.
  • Facility of cancellation through the 139 helpline post verification using ‘One Time Password’ sent on registered phone number
  • To improve tatkaal services CCTV cameras on windows and periodic audit of PRS website. 
  • 350 manned level crossings closed, 
  • Eliminated 1,000 unmanned level crossings, 
  • 820 ROB/RUB completed in the current year and work going on in 1,350 of them.
Unreserved passenger 
  • Antyodaya Express unreserved, superfast service.
  • Deen Dayalu coaches – unreserved coaches with potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
Reserved passenger 
  • Humsafar - fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals 
  • Tejas - will showcase the future of train travel in India. Will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and above.Will offer on board services such as entertainment, local cuisine, WiFi, etc. through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved customer satisfaction. Humsafar and Tejas to ensure cost recovery through tariff and non-tariff measures
  • UDAY - overnight double-decker, Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri Express on the busiest routes, has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%.
  • Clean my Coach  service through SMS 
  •  YES scheme Yatri Empowerment through SMS on Indian Rail Started
  • Ranking of A1 and A stations based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback.
  • Waste segregation and recycling centers
  • ‘Awareness campaigns’
  • Additional 30,000 bio-toilets
  • Providing portable structures with bio - toilets at all platforms of select stations for senior citizens
  • Divyang and women travelers,
  • Plan to explore innovative means of providing and maintaining toilets such as advertisement rights,CSR, Voluntary support from social organizations.
Catering and stalls at stations 
  • IRCTC to manage catering services in a phased manner
  • Explore possibility of making catering services optional, 
  • Adding 10 more IRCTC operated base kitchens:

  • Convert all operational halts into commercial halts for the benefit of the common man.

Rail Mitra Sewa

  • Expanding Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help the old and disabled passengers, strengthening the existing services for enabling passengers to book battery
  • operated cars, porter services, etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop, and wheel chair services.
Measures for Divyang

  • All stations under redevelopment accessible by Divyang; to provide at least one Divyang friendly toilet at each platform in A1 class stations.

Travel Insurance to passengers
  • To offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking.
Janani sewa

  • Children’s menu items on trains, 
  • Baby foods, 
  • Hot milk 
  • Hot water 

SMART Coaches
  • Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel Coaches .
  • Design and layout of our coaches to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens, LED boards for advertising, PA system.
Mobile Apps 
  • Integrate all facilities into two mobile apps dealing with ticketing issues and for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions.
Pilgrimage centers

  • To take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centers including Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar , Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni, Varanasi and Vasco.
  • Run Aastha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centers.
  • Intend providing them with new uniforms and train them in soft skills, henceforth, to be called Sahayak.
High Speed Rail
  • Passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai being undertaken with the assistance of the Government of Japan. 
  • SPV for implementing high speed projects will be registered this month. 
  • Prime benefit would be providing IR with technology advancements and new manufacturing capability.
  • Propose to invite FM Radio stations for providing train borne entertainment; 
  • Extend ‘Rail Bandhu’ to all reserved classes of travelers and in all regional languages. 

Suburban Railway 

  • Tenders for elevated suburban corridors between Churchgate-Virar and between CSTM-Panvel
  • Revive Ring Railway system in Delhi
  • Launching a new investment framework for developing suburban systems in partnership with State Governments, 
  • Development in Ahmedabad, Bangaluru, Hyderabad Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram


  • Expanding the freight basket of IR 
To start time-tabled freight container, parcel and special commodity trains on a pilot basis, container sector would be opened to all traffic barring coal, specified mineral ores and part-loads during the non-peak season.
All existing terminals/sheds would be granted access to container traffic, where considered feasible.

  • Rationalising the tariff structure
Undertake review of tariff policy to evolve a competitive rate structure vis a vis other modes,
Permit multi-point loading/unloading and apply differentiated tariffs to increase utilization of alternate routes,
Explore possibility of signing long term tariff contracts with key freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principles.

  • Building terminal capacity 
Proposed to develop Rail side logistics parks and warehousing in PPP mode,
10 goods sheds will be developed by TRANSLOC, the Transport Logistics Company of India, in 2016-17.
To soon inaugurate India’s First Rail Auto Hub in Chennai.
Encourage development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals.
Local farmers and fisherman would be given preferential usage of the facility.
A policy in this regard would be issued in the next 3 months.
  • Nurturing customers
Appoint Key Customer Managers to liaison with our major freight stakeholders
Each Zonal Railway will develop customer commitment charter indicating service level commitments of IR, will explore the feasibility of opening up leasing of general purpose wagons.

For the development of Railway

Non fare revenues

  • Monetizing land along tracks 
  • Monetizing soft assets – website, data, etc
  • Liberalize the current parcel policies including opening the sector to container train operators; revenues from manufacturing activity - by 2020, aim at generating annualised revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore.

Process Improvements

  • EPC projects standard document finalized, will implement at least 20 projects through this mode in 2016-17; by 2017-18, endeavour to award all works valuing above Rs. 300 crore through EPC contracts.
  • Performance output parameters based contracts to review service contracts to integrate them and make them simpler and outcome focused.
  • Leveraging technology for project management : Intend to use the latest drone and Geo Spatial based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across major projects; monitoring of DFC to be operationalised through this mode in 2016-17.
  • System-wide Information Technology integration : Initiated system wide integration, both horizontal and vertical, akin to an ERP through innovative partnership models.

Rail Development Authority

  • To enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards; draft bill to be ready after holding extensive stakeholder consultations.


  • Navinikaran - Structural Interventions

Organisational Restructuring- proposed to reorganize the Railway Board along business lines and suitably empower Chairman, Railway Board. As a first step, cross functional directorates to be set up in Railway Board to focus on areas like non-fare revenues, speed enhancement, motive power and information technology; explore the possibility of unifying cadres for fresh recruitment of officers; strengthen PPP cell to improve ease of doing business with IR.

  • Sashaktikaran – Improving our planning practices

To set up a Railway Planning and Investment Organisation for drafting medium (5 years) and long (10 years) term corporate plans; identify projects which fulfill the corporate goal. Prepare a National Rail Plan to harmonise and integrate the rail network with other modes of transport and create synergy for achieving seamless multi-modal transportation network across the country

  • Aekikaran – Consolidation

Forming a holding company of companies owned by IR.

  • Shodh aur vikas - Investing in the future

To set up a R and D organization, a Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology and Holistic Advancement,SRESTHA. RDSO will now focus only on day to day issues while SRESTHA would drive long term research.

  • Vishleshan – Analyzing data

A dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (SUTRA) would be set up for carrying out detailed analytics leading to optimized investment decisions and operations

  • Navrachna – Innovation

By setting aside a sum of Rs. 50 crore for providing innovation grants to employees, startups and small businesses.

Seven Missions for the transformation of IR

  • Missions will be headed by a Mission Director reporting directly to the Chairman,Railway Board and heading a cross functional team empowered to take all relevant decisions for a timely targeted delivery. Annual outcome based performance targets for the Mission would be announced and the Missions will finalise the implementation plans for short, medium and long terms and proceed accordingly 
  • Mission 25 Tonne for 25 tonne axle load, Mission Zero Accident for safety, Mission PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency), Mission Raftaar for higher speeds, Mission Hundred for commissioning 100 sidings/ freight terminals, Mission beyond book-keeping for accounting reforms, Mission Capacity Utilisation to prepare a blueprint for making use of the capacity created once DFC is commissioned.

Social Initiatives

  • Environment
To tie up with the Ministry of Health for ensuring an exchange between Railways hospitals and Government hospitals; to introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway hospitals; provide gang men with devices called ‘Rakshak’ for intimating them about approaching trains, also reduce the weight of the tools carried by them while patrolling. To provide toilets and air-conditioning in cabs for our loco pilots.
  • Set up two chairs 
One C T Venugopal chair on Strategic Finance, research and policy development and another Kalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatial technology.
  • For youth 
Open our organisation to 100 students across Engineering and MBA schools for 2-6 months’ internships each year.
  • Partnering with Ministry of Skill Development 
Skill development on IR premises.
  • Undertaken energy audits
For reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by 10% to 15% - all new light provisions will be LED luminary and all Railway stations to be covered with LED luminaire in next 2 to 3 years.
  • Action plan 
Drawn up for environmental accreditation, water management and waste to energy conversion. More than 2,000 locations provided with Rain Water
Harvesting facility. In place of steel sleepers on steel bridges environmentally friendly composite sleepers made of recycled plastic waste will be used over all girder bridges.
  • Installation of water recycling plants
32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water recycling plants in the coming years.


  • Partnering with State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains; recent up gradation of National Rail Museum, promotion of tourism through Railway museums and UNESCO world heritage Railways.
  • To spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, complete packages including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh will be offered.


Financial Performance

2016-17- :- 
  • Targeted Operating Ratio (OR) - 92%,    
  • Restrict growth of Ordinary Working  Expenses by 11.6% after building in immediate impact of 7th PC, 
  • Reductions planned in diesel and electricity  consumption, 
  • Revenue generation targeted at Rs. 1,84,820 crore.
Investments and Resources

2016-17  : -   

  • CAPEX pegged at Rs. 1.21 lakh crore
  • Implementation through joint ventures with states, 
  • Developing new frameworks for PPP, etc.

Project execution

2016-17 -: 

  • Targeted commissioning 2,800 kms of track; commissioning Broad Gauge lines at over 7 kms per day against an average of about 4.3 kms per day in the last 6 years.
  • Would increase to about 13 kms per day in 2017-18 and 19 kms per day in 2018-19
  • Will generate employment of about 9 crore man days in 2017-18 and 14 crore man days in 2018-19. 
  • Outlay for electrification increased in 2016 by almost 50%; target to electrify 2,000 kms.
Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • Almost all contracts for civil engineering works to be awarded by March 31st 2016
  • Rs. 24,000 crore contracts awarded since November 2014 as against Rs. 13,000 crore contracts awarded in last 6 years; 
  • Propose to take up North - South, East - West and East Coast freight corridors through innovative financing including PPP. 
Port connectivity
  • Tuna Port commissioned and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas and Paradip under implementation.
  • Implementation of rail connectivity for the ports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP in 2016-17.

North East
  • BG Lumding  - Silchar section in Assam opened ,connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.
  • Agartala brought on to the BG network. 
  • States of Mizoram and Manipur shortly to come on BG map of the country with commissioning of the Kathakal-Bhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.

Jammu and Kashmir
  • Work on Katra - Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project progressing satisfactorily- 35 kms of tunnelling out of total of 95 kms completed.
  • Decongestion work on Jalandhar - Jammu line in full swing and doubling of two bridges to be commissioned by March 2016, while the other two bridges will be completed by 2016-17.

Make in India
  • Finalized bids for two loco factories.
  • Proposed to increase the current procurement of train sets by 30%. 

Capacity Building for the future through
  • Transparency – initiated recruitment online in 2015-16, process now being  replicated for all positions, social media being used as a tool to bring in transparency,all procurement including procurement of works moved to the e-platform, completed trial of process leading to award of tender electronically and to be rolled out on a Pan India basis in 2016-17.
  • Governance - delegation led to compression of project sanction time to 6-8 months from 2 years earlier, key result areas identified to judge performance of GMs and DRMs, performance related MOUs signed with few Zones, to be replicated for all zones.
  • Internal audit measures - specialised teams mandated to screen railway operations in specific areas to detect inefficiencies and prevent wastages, every zone preparing 2 reports by March 31, 2016.
  • Partnerships – Cabinet approval for JVs with State Governments, 17 consented and 6 MOUs signed with State Governments. 44 new partnership works covering about 5,300 kms and valuing about Rs. 92,714 crore have been indicated in the Budget documents.
  • Fully Unreserved Super Fast Trains
  • Increase quota for senior citizens and women. 
  • No fare hike
  • 33%  sub quota for women in all categories.
  • Over night Double Decker Trains
  • No unmanned Level crossing
  • New Train : Mahamana Express 
  • Savings of  Rs.3000 cr in 2016 -17
  • First Rail auto hub in Chennai
  • 1780 automatic ticket vending machine
  • Job growth is the main aim
  • Passenger friendly initiatives
  • Changing board , Baby menu
  • Delhi ring rail to be revived
  • Elevated corridors for Mumbai
  • Vision 2020 unveiled
  • Propose to take up North- South , East-West and East coast Freight corridors thorough innovative financing including PPP
  • Long distance super fast train Antyodaya Express for unreserved passengers.
  • Fully unreserved super fast trains to be introduced on dense traffic routes.
  • Introduce Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers

Highlights of Indian Railway Budget 2016 - 2017 announced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on February 25, 2016 . During this Budget Railways announced several new Trains, Infrastructure development, investment options.

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