New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that railways is planning to change the century-old signalling system with a modern network.
"Few days ago we had a meeting to discuss the century old signalling system which is currently in use. And in the coming years we will change the entire signalling system on our entire network," Goyal told reporters here.
He said the railways will bring "most modern signalling system" for its rail network which will be more safer.
"The new advanced signalling system would allow trains to operate at higher frequency even on busy routes," he said.
Goyal said track renewal work is going on at war footing and this year it has planned to replace 3,500 km of tracks.
"Earlier 233 km of tracks was changed every month, which has increased to 399 km in a month," he said. Railways will invite global tenders for the procurement of rails, he said.
Indian Railways replaces about 2,500 km of old tracks on an average every year. In the current financial year, it's renewing almost 3,500 km. It has a total route network of 64,000 km.
Emphasising on the safety of passengers and punctuality of trains during the winter season when dense fog engulfs northern India, he said that fog-safe devices have been given to all trains plying in the region.
The Minister said: "During winters a maximum speed limit of 60 kmph is permissible. But however, it is up to the driver to decide the speed for the safe passage of the train. And for safety purpose during winter we have given fog safe devices to all trains plying in northern India region."
Asked about the issue of wait-listed train tickets, the Minister said that once the dedicated freight corridor work is completed the stress from the passenger lines would be reduced and more passenger trains can be brought on the same tracks.
"We are studying the means to attach 22 coaches on all the express trains as a standard procedure that would also increase the number of berths in every train," he said.
"For this the engineering department of railways has taken up the work to increase the length of platforms at stations," he said.
Asserting on safety and comfort of passengers, Goyal said: "The safety and comfort will come through two things - one by bringing modern technology in railways, and second, by providing good services in the train.
"And keeping in mind the safety and comfort of the passenger, in future we plan to build a network of about 10,000-11,000 km of Bullet train in the country, which would cover around two third of the entire rail network," he said.
He said that railways wants to increase its income through freight.
"We want to capture 50 per cent of the freight business. We are also planning to bring more dedicated freight corridors," he said.
The Minister said that railways shall give priority to agricultural products. "We want to achieve the target of three billion in the coming years," he said.
On complaints of poor quality food, the Minister said that railways is going to give all its base kitchens to the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation.
He also said that railways plans to complete the entire recruitment process in a time-based manner.
"The entire recruitment process will be completed in nine months," he added.