With a vision of a future with improved rail services and a better travel experience, the Ministry of Railways has released a 2-year Vision Document. It lists the long-term goals and milestones that the national transporter intends to achieve.
A 33-page document, the Indian Railways Visions and Plans 2017-2019 gives an insight into the ‘strategic road map’ that the Railways intends to undertake in the next two years.
The document discusses nine themes. Infrastructure Upgradation, Passenger Experience, Preferred Freight Carrier, Non-fare revenue enhancement, ‘Zero’ fatality, Modernization by digitization & cutting edge technology, Organizational culture, Cost focus and Sustainability.
These themes have been further subdivided into sub-themes, and each sub-theme has a strategic initiative identified under it. Further, each initiative has a set of action plans.
Here are some of the goals and objectives visualised by the Indian Railways, through which it aims to be the engine for India’s economic growth and development:
1. Introduction of high-speed trains (350kmph), from the current highest speed of 160kmph, along with the provision of a ultra high-speed wireless corridor along IR’s network.
2. Air cooled/temperature controlled services will be provided for long distance travel to all passengers in India.
3. Through the elimination of 6,113 Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) on broad gauge lines, the Railways intends to improve the throughput on the existing network and turn into a high-speed one. That and an estimated reduction of 66 per cent in accidents.
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4. Combining technology and passenger experience, an integrated app to provide all Railways affiliated services including ticketing, taxi etc. will be launched.
5. With a plan of setting up 2 lakh screens across 2,175 stations, they intend to build a dedicated platform for not only advertisements but also to generate passenger information.
6. Taking the environment-friendly route, the Ministry plans on solar and wind energy powered trains. Also, all production units, and at least one workshop in each zonal railway, is to be transformed into green industrial units.
7. In order to reduce electricity consumption, all the railway stations across the country will switch to LED usage.
8. Utilising the land marked for horticulture, IR has set a target of planting 5 crore trees under its sustainable development module.
9. They also plan on introducing rainwater harvesting systems on roofs of outsourced good sheds that are larger than 200sq m.
10. All coaches in the railways will be equipped with discharge-free bio toilets.