Following are the highlights of Railway Budget 2008-09 presented by the Railways Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad, in Parliament on Tuesday.· Second-class Sleeper fares cut by 5%.
· AC-1 fare cut by 7%.
AC-2 fare cut by 4%.
AC-3 fare cut by 3%.
· 10 new Garib Raths, 53 new trains to be introduced.
· 50% concessions for AIDS patients.
· 50% concession for senior women citizen.
· Free season tickets for girls till graduation.· Freight traffic target of 785 million tonnes crossed to touch 790 million tonnes.
· Railway plan size increased from Rs 11,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore in the last four years.
· Set new profit of Rs 25,000 cr in 2007-08.
· 560 railway station platforms to be lengthened to take long trains.
· Middle-level and low-level platforms to be upgraded to high-level platforms in several stations to help commuters.
· Doubling of lines to be given priority.
· Professional agencies being involved on a pilot basis to ensure cleanliness in running trains.
· Work on automatic signalling to start in new sections.
· Rlys planning SMARTCARD-based ticketing system.
· Electrification of more routes in North India.
· Foot overbridge along high level platforms.
· In talks with foreign cos for new wagon designs.
· High level platforms in 135 stations.
· Housekeeping in Shatabdi to be outsourced.
· Lifts and escalators in 50 stations.
· Modular toilets to be introduced in trains.
· Rajdhanis, Shatabdis to get modernised coaches.
· Touch screens, colour TVs across all major stations.
· 6,000 automatic ticket sale machines in 2 years.
· By 2010 all coaches to be in stainless steel.
· Rlys to connected to call centres for reservations.
· 16,548 old rail tracks to be renewed.
· Ticket confirmation via mobiles likely.
· Pvt cos can make terminals on Rly land.
· All un-manned crossings to be manned.
· Metal detectors, baggage scan at key stations.
· Display boards to be set up across stations for convenience of passengers.
· ‘Go Mumbai’ tickets to be sold at bus depots.
· Delhi-JNPT-NavaShev a western freight corridor cleared.
· Multi-level parking at 30 major stations.
· Free Rajdhani, Shatabdi travel for Ashok Chakra winners.
· New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune to be made world-class stations.
· Rlys to issue wait-listed e-tickets.
· Arrival time to be printed on tickets.
· To link trains via IT, communications in 2009.
· Amravati-Mumbai Express -twice a week.
· Khajuraho-Delhi thrice a week.
· Chennai-Salem daily
· Kurla-Howrah frequency twice a week.
· Considering a rail link for Ennore port.
· To have new wagon leasing policy.
· BBU-NDLS Rajdhani thrice a week.
· Expanding use of automated signalling system.
· Special train between Delhi and Pune for Commonwealth Games.