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The National Rail Plan

The Railway may not require Central budget support once the National Rail Plan is implemented.

Indian Railways has come up with a Draft National Rail Plan to address the inadequacies of capacity constraints and improve its modal share in the total freight ecosystem of India. The National Rail Plan is a long term strategic plan. which aims at infrastructural capacity enhancement along with strategies to increase the modal share of the railways. The Plan will be a common platform for future infrastructural. business and financial planning of the Railways. The Railways aims to finalize the plan soon. The Plan has many objectives.

The most important is to create capacity ahead of demand by 2030, which in turn would cater to growth in demand right up to 2050 and also increase the modal share of Railways from 27% currently to 45% in freight by 2030 as part of a national commitment to reduce carbon emission and to continue to sustain it. By 2030, it will achieve Net Zero Carbon emission. The plan will assess the actual demand in freight and passenger sectors, a year-long survey was conducted over a hundred representative locations by survey teams spread all over the Country. The plan also aims to reduce the transit time of freight substantially by increasing the average speed of freight trains from the present 22 km per hour to 50 km per hour and reduce the overall cost of rail transportation by 30% and pass on the benefits to the customers. As part of the National Rail Plan, the government has launched Vision 2024 for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as 100% electrification, multi-tracking of congested routes, up-gradation of speed to 160 kmph on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes, up-gradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GOQ/GD) routes and elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route. It is expected that after 2030, the revenue surplus generated would be adequate to finance future capital investment and also take the burden of debt service ratio of the capital already invested. Thereafter, rail projects may not require Central budget-funding.

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