New Delhi: With an aim of taking the Indian Railways to the next generation, Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday said that the time has come to de-politicise the Indian Railways and modernise the system which is obsolete even today.

Trivedi said, “The department has prepared a blue print envisaging Rs 14 lakh crore investments in the next 10 years for modernisation of rail network which include automation of signalling system, strengthening of track and procurement of modern rolling stock.”

According to Trivedi, the Railway Ministry has underlined the need for a national policy for Railways that lays down a clear road-map for a revenue model.

Trivedi also asked the people to cooperate with the Indian Railways and the government.
"The present railway system has outlived its utility. We are in some kind of Victorian age as far as the railways are concerned. We need elevated tracks for high-speed trains.  We have to change the reservation system so that passengers can book confirmed ticket," Trivedi added.

"We have also asked the Railway Board, if 2000 special trains can be arranged during the festivity, then why the Railway Board can’t arrange special trains in off-peak time,” Trivedi asserted.

According to the Ministry’s proposed national plan, the first five-years would be focused on renovating the one-third tracks and rolling stock. For this the Railways need Rs 1.25 lakh per year.

The Railway Ministry is hopeful of getting Rs 40000 to 60000 crore in the upcoming Budget. Trivedi further informed that concerned officials are in constant touch with the Planning Commission.

Trivedi is also scheduled for a meeting with the Prime Minister on the Railway’s modernization plan.

The Railway Minister also favoured setting up of an independent Railway Stations Authority to oversee the makeover of railways stations by way of shopping malls, eating places and other amenities for the commuters.