Indian Railways plans to invest $11bn into a signalling system project across the country to improve the safety of journeys.
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal told PTI: “We will bring the most modern technology of European Train Control System (ETCS) in India and it will be implemented across the country.”
The South Western Railway division of the Indian Railways has produced a pre-feasibility report for the 160km Bengaluru suburban railway in the southern state of Karnataka, which was approved in 2014 but no work has been completed. This railway would require an investment of $1.8bn.
According to Goyal, 68km of the suburban railway network will be raised.
Indian Railways also plans to invest $7.6bn to modernise the stations and deliver advanced rail coaches. The company has also proposed an equal cost-sharing arrangement between itself and Karnataka.
“We can do a cost sharing of 50-50 between the state government and the Indian railways and against that, they (state government) can allow us to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or Floor Space Index (FSI) of all our stations to five, so that we can raise some revenue by developing the stations, making them modern and passenger friendly,” said Goyle.
Indian Railways has historically renewed 233km of track every month; this figure increased to 476km being renewed per month in December 2017.
Earlier, Indian Railways renewed 233 km of tracks every month but this figure was scaled up in December 2017 with 476 km of track being renewed.
Goyal added that the renewal work is being gradually scaled up to enable faster trains.
“In January, 2018, railways did 576 km of track renewal and in February we did 560 km … That is the scale-up to make the Indian Railways safer. With this, all the speed restriction will go away and we will have faster trains,” he said.