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Rail Budget 2019 to focus on high speed trains, modernisation, safety

Being an Interim Budget, every detail of the allocation for the railways may not be spelt out.

Rail Budget 2019 to focus on high speed trains, modernisation, safety

New Delhi: The Modi government is all set to present the Interim Budget 2019 in the Lok Sabha on February 1 amidst expectations that several measures for modernisation, safety of Railways may be announced.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal may not announce new trains in the Budget, but sources say that he may make announcements on increasing the speed of few existing trains along with announcement of some semi high speed trains.

Being an Interim Budget, every detail of the allocation for the railways may not be spelt out, but sources say that Railway Budget will focus on three pillars - safer, faster, better.

Sources says that upcoming Railway Budget will heavily focus on making Indian Railways a safer mode of transport and hence announce measures on Train Protection Warning System, GPS enabled train track system, Track Maintenance with Advanced Machinery.

Sources also added that announcements regarding increase of passenger amenities may also be announced that includes better escalators, lifts, Wi-Fi, and more Divyang friendly stations.

Sources also says that increased budgetary allocation (that the rail ministry had earlier sought) will be used to upgrade the coaches in Railways with schemes like Swarn Mission. High speed corridors work will be expedited with the increased Budgetary Allocation, sources added.

The Narendra Modi-led government in 2016 scrapped the colonial-era tradition of presenting the budget at the end of February. With the preponement of Budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April.

Government had also scrapped the age-old custom of presenting a separate Railway Budget while a combined Budget was presented by Arun Jaitley last year – thus becoming the country's first finance minister to present a combined Budget.