In this section, let’s focus on the amazing facts of the Indian Railway and we will try to compare with other International Railways. We will also analyse certain measures announced in the current Railway budget and what’s in it for us?

Considering the vast expanse of India, no wonder is that Indian Railway occupies the special place on the world map. The Indian Railway track covers the route of 65,436 km, which is one of the largest in the world. There are more than seven thousand stations built over the vast network. It operates 19000 trains daily and carries 23 million passengers and 2.65 million tons of freight. The annual revenue of the Railway runs into close to one lakh fifty thousand crores. It is also the biggest employer in the country with more than one million on its payroll. Plus it also provides indirect employment to equal number of people on contract. The Indian Railway also operates the train, known as Vivek Express, on the longest route- from Kanyakumari to Dibrugarh. Considering these factors, Indian Railways enjoys a distinguished position compared to its international peers.

Now let’s see what measures have been announced in this year’s budget. Over the past several years, the Railway budgets have been used by the successive government to impress voters. It had been the tool in the hand of the ruling alliance to bargain with the voters. This populist approach damaged the financial health of the national carrier. However, this year there is a deviation from this manipulated path. Since the government enjoys majority and doesn’t depend on the tantrums of the alliance partners, it has taken the bold step to run the railways in a corporate style. Following are some of the measures that may interest a common man.
The biggest relief includes not hiking the passenger fares. Especially, the suburban monthly passes were slated to be revised. But the Railway minister has spared the fare hike this time. Compensation has been done by hiking the freight rates by 14{4aae73461effa9263855888e11b82afb29be8624bd70156d49c18cab7ecb130d}.
Another significant thing is the extension of period of advanced reservation. The current period of 60 days has been extended to 120 days, so that the passengers can plan their journey well in advance.
Besides these, there are certain other things like more escalators on the stations and new things like Wi-Fi on select stations.