Railway Budget 2019: Cheers to Indian Railways; Vande Bharat Express in spotlight

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New Delhi : Along with Union Budget, the Railway Budget 2019 has been presented today. With set record of Rs 1.58 lakh crore as planned expenditure, the Indian Railways achieves a safe year. To add more, Vande Bharat Express is in focus. Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s Railway Budget 2019 had points to cheer for railway passengers. Train 18, now Vande Bharat Express, will offer world-class travel experience to passengers in the coming years. 

Additionally, the operating ratio, a measure of Indian Railways financial health, improved and further improvement is being planned.Goyal announced that the operating ratio for the current fiscal year has improved to 96.2% and in the next financial year the aim will be to have it at 95%.

Vande Bharat Express has been highlighted by Goyel as the indigenous technology dive that will ensure speed, service and safety in rail travel. As part of his Railway Budget 2019 speech, Piyush Goyal said that Vande Bharat Express is a ‘Make in India’ initiative that will help create more jobs as more such train sets are manufactured for service across the Indian Railways network. Piyush Goyal announced an outlay of Rs 64,587 crore for Indian Railways.

Expressing Modi government's big achievement on safety, Piyush Goyal said that his ministry has eliminated all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network. This feat was achieved on January 31, 2019, when the last unmanned level crossing was removed. 

No railway fare hike was announced in Railway Budget 2019, given the fact this is the year of Lok Sabha elections 2019. Vande Bharat Express, commonly known as Train 18, will usher a new travel era in Indian Railways. According to Union Finance and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the indigenous 'Make in India'

The semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express will travel between New Delhi and Varanasi. With the commencement of this new train, the travel time will be reduced significantly. The new Train 18 will take approximately 8 hours to complete the journey.

The ‘Make in India’ train is being provided with 16 coaches, out of which 14 will be Chair Car coaches and the remaining 2 will be Executive Class Chair Car coaches. It is also being equipped with several ‘State of the Art’ passenger amenities including CCTV cameras, on-board WiFi entertainment, GPS based passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, rotating chairs in executive class etc. Additionally, the train is also going to have the provision of Divyang-friendly facilities.