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Railway Minister announces measures to tone up rail safety

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced series of measures to tone up rail safety including priority allotment of Rails to track renewal over construction of new lines or gauge conversions. It has also been proposed to increase the speed of 700 trains from November first and complete electrification of entire railway network in five years.

Announcing at his maiden press conference after taking over as Railway Minister on September 28, Mr. Goyal said the railway administration will lay tremendous stress on field inspection of railway tracks by officers.

The announcements which prioritize rail safety come in the wake of spate of railway accidents in Uttar Pradesh which led to the resignation of previous Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

The Railways will give overriding priority for granting maintenance blocks and eliminate in a time bound manner the remaining unmanned level crossings.

By next year, the railways will abandon ICF built coaches in favour of LHB coaches. Production of ICF coaches has already been stopped and the existing ones will be phased out by next year. In case of rail accidents casualties are higher in ICF built coaches as they tend to roll over one another.

Mr. Goyal also announced the speeding up of seven hundred trains with effect from November one. As many as 48 trains are being converted from Mail Express to Superfast Category.

It has also been decided to complete the electrification of the entire railway network by the next four to five years. Railway expects to save a sum of Rs Ten thousand crores by way of energy costs. It will also reduce pollution and dependence on imported diesel.

About twenty railway stations will be modernised soon with superior infrastructure and passenger facilities including hotels, eateries, shopping, multi modal transport hub.


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