Railways working to ensure confirmed berths on demand by 2021
Come 2021 and a passenger could be assured of a confirmed berth on his preferred train, if the railways' plan to augment capacity on busy routes materialises.
At present, there is a huge gap between the demand and the availability of train berths, particularly on the busy Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes. It leaves many passengers with wait-listed tickets, which means if the ticket does not get confirmed, the passenger is not allowed to travel.
To bridge the demand-supply gap, the railways is planning to introduce more passenger trains on high-density routes.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said this could be made possible once goods trains are shifted to dedicated freight corridors (DFCs), the work on which is going on in full steam, and infrastructure on the busy Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes is upgraded to speed up trains.
"Lines are oversaturated now. With the commissioning of DFCs, there will be more scope for running passenger trains at a higher speed," he said at an event organised by the industry body CII.
The 3,228 km long eastern and western dedicated freight corridors are expected to be operational by December 2019.
Besides, the railways has started the work on Delhi- Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai rail corridors to raise train speed to 200 km per hour.
"We have earmarked Rs 20,000 crore to strengthen infrastructure and upgrade the signalling system on these two routes in the next 3-4 years," Prabhu said. The railways has added 16,500 km long tracks to its network in the past two years.