Rail budget 2014 Announced: Passenger fares, freight rates left untouched

In the interim rail budget announced today passenger fares and freight rates were left untouched. The budget talks about plans of involvement of private sector and FDI as part of efforts to modernize the largest transport network in the country.

The rail budget was presented by Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge. He announced the launch of 17 new premium trains, 39 express trains and ten passenger trains in the coming year and providing rail connectivity to Katra and Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir, and Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast.

Announcing that the governments of Karnataka, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana had agreed to share cost of several rail projects, Kharge appealed to other state governments to follow suit to create rail infrastructure in their respective areas.

A joint feasibility study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor, co-financed by the Railways and Japan International Cooperation Agency, which started in December last year, would be completed in 18 months, he said.

For the same corridor, a business development study undertaken by French Railways would be completed by April this year, the Minister said.

Besides, the department also intended to explore low cost options for raising speeds to 160-200 km per hour on existing select routes like Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Chandigarh.

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