$137bn (£88bn) has been confirmed as being invested in the ageing Indian railway network over the next five years. Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu presented his first budget for the ministry today promising to balance the needs of passengers and the long-term interests of the network with an aim of it ultimately being benchmarked globally on quality, safety and delivery.
“Railways facilities have not improved substantially for the past few decades which is the result of under-investment that affects capacity, leading to poor morale. This fed into vicious cycle of chronic under-investment for a long time,”
Railway Minister Prabhu said. He said safety, quality of service, standards and efficiency all suffered due to poor financial resources available with the Indian Railways, which further fed into the vicious cycle of poor investment. The state-run Indian railways operate more than 12,000 trains, carrying some 23 million passengers daily.