With the growth in passenger earnings declining, railways is likely to spell out its strategy to earn additional revenue to reach the target in the current fiscal.
While many unviable projects may be scrapped, Gowda will also announce some new projects on priority basis in the Rail Budget 2014-2015 on Tuesday.
Probable government initiatives for Railways

Since the government is grappling with ever-increasing fuel cost, harnessing alternative energy like solar power and bio-diesel in a big way is likely to feature in the NDA government's first Rail Budget as it is believed to be the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wants use of non-renewable energy in rail sector so that the dependence on fuel is less.
Gowda is likely to announce pilot project for introduction of automatic closing of doors in Shatabdi coaches and EMU coaches in Mumbai suburban train as safety measures for passengers to prevent accidental fall from running train.
There will be provision for a few new trains including premium and services connecting various pilgrim centres in the Rail Budget 2014-15.
Managing passenger service through cross-subsidy from freight earnings, railways may spell out its policy on FDI to attract foreign capital in expansion of rail infrastructure including modernisation of station and high speed train.
The Rail Budget will spell out details of future course of action plan for having a 'Diamond Quadrilateral' to run high speed trains.
The budget will also reflect the views of NDA government on Rail Tariff Authority and High Speed Rail Authority. Though involvement of private players in big ticket projects is becoming a necessity now, the state-run transporter has to come out with win-win formula for investors in a hassle-free environment.
Hinting at the possibility of private investment in rail sector, the Prime Minister had recently said that private parties would be ready to invest in rail sector like development of stations.
"This would be a win-win situation project and we want to move ahead in this direction in the coming days," Modi had said.

X-ray system to detect faults in trains

The Railway Ministry is likely to propose installation of X-ray systems along the tracks to detect faulty parts in trains in the Rail Budget among a series of steps to enhance safety measures for passengers.
Railway sources said the 'Trackside X-ray System' will be installed at suitable locations along railway tracks to detect loose or damaged parts of rolling stock which include locomotives, engine, coaches, and wagons.
The X-ray equipment will also be able to detect overheating of bearings, wheels and brake discs. The installation of the equipment is expected to be one of measures to be proposed by the Railways to curb mishaps as faulty parts of rolling stock is a major reason for increasing number of train accidents, the sources said.
Gowda has also shown keenness towards implementation of the recommendations of Kakodkar Committee to improve safety parameters of the national transporter.
Elimination of unmanned level crossings in a phase-wise manner, one of the key recommendations of the Committee, is also likely to find mention in Gowda's first Rail Budget. There are about 12,000 unmanned level crossings at present which witness maximum number of train accidents, about 40 percent of total rail mishap, in the country. Since it requires a huge fund to eliminate unmanned level crossings, the cash-strapped railways is likely to come up with a plan to have a dedicated fund for this purpose.
Railways is also expected to acquire modern devices to tackle foggy weather, which causes delay in train service in Northern India during winter season.
In order to strengthen its security measures, the Rail Budget is likely to announce a new academy for advanced training of RPF personnel. The state-run transporter will also have a Rail Security Management System, a paperless network connecting all RPF posts to keep it abreast online.
Besides, Railways will expedite installation of CCTV, X-ray machines for baggage clearances and other gadgets which are part of the Integrated Security System at all sensitive stations. There are 202 railway stations identified as sensitive out of which only 93 are equipped with the system.

Passengers seek improved rail facilities

Meanwhile, the rail passengers looked ready to pay more but they are expecting improved facilities, cleanliness and more trains from the Modi government’s maiden railway budget.

Railways, which transport an estimated 25 million people each day, is a service for the ‘common man’.

In Kerala, daily commuters said they expected the government to charge normal fares with enhanced facilities.

“More coaches should be added to avoid rush,” said Ramachandran, a daily rail passenger in Kerala.
In Odisha, commuters complained about poor facilities and delayed train timings and hoped the upcoming budget would solve the issues.

Railway linked firms' stocks rise ahead of budget

Stocks of companies associated with the railways rose around noon on Monday. The markets expect the rail budget to bring in fiscal stability in the railways and fund inflows for modernisation, in line with the new government's proposal for infrastructure development through public private partnership (PPP) models.

There are also speculations of allowing foreign funds into the railways by opening the sector to attract investment.

At the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), shares of wagon maker Texmaco Rail and Engineering grew 5.59 percent or 7.20 points to trade at Rs.136.10 around 12.30 pm, rising from its previous close of Rs.128.90.

Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers) increased 4.96 percent or 6.40 points at Rs.135.35, moving up from previous close of Rs.128.95.

Stocks of another wagon manufacturer, Titagarh Wagons, reported gain of 3.22 percent or 10.15 points at Rs 325 from its previous close of Rs 314.85. Hind Rectifiers shares too made healthy gains, they rose 3.95 percent or 2.25 points at Rs 59.20 from previous close of Rs 56.95.

Container Corporation of India's stocks gained 3.04 percent or 38.60 points at Rs1,307.90 from its previous close of Rs1,269.30.

However, shares of Transformers and Rectifiers (India) saw a decline of 1.35 percent or 2.95 points at Rs.216. Another firm, Stone India's stocks fell by 2.07 percent or 0.95 points at Rs.45.


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