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Indian Railways completes 3,681 km New Line, 4,871 km Gauge Conversion and 9,168 km Doubling projects during 2014-21

As on 01.04.2021 across Indian Railways, 484 Railway projects of 51,165 km length, costing approx. Rs.7.53 lakh crore are in different stages of planning/sanction/execution, out of which 10,638 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs.2.14 lakh crore has been incurred upto March, 2021.

  • The completion of any Railway project(s) depends on various factors like quick land acquisition by State Government, forest clearance by officials of forest department, deposition of cost share by State Government in cost sharing projects, priority of projects, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc. and all these factors affect the completion time of the project(s), which is finally worked out at the completion stage. 
  • However, Railways is making all the efforts for expeditious completion of projects.
  • During 2014-21, 17,720 km length (3,681 km New Line, 4,871 km Gauge Conversion and 9,168 km Doubling) has been commissioned at an average of 2,531 km/year which is 67% more than the average commissioning during 2009-14(1520 km/year).
  • The average annual Budget allocation in the Indian Railways for New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling works during 2014-19 has increased to Rs.26,026 crore per year from Rs.11,527 crore per year during 2009-14, which is 126% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14. 
  • The Annual budget allocation for these projects for Financial Year 2020-21 was Rs.43,626 crore which is 278% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
  • For Financial year 2021-22, highest-ever budget outlay of Rs.52,498 crore {Rs.45,465 crore (Budget Estimate) and additional allocation of Rs.7,033 crore} has been provided for these works, which is 355% more with respect to average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
  • Budget outlay has been provided to the projects in a rationalized manner and budget has been allotted to the projects which are in advance stage of completion, priority projects, important New Line & National projects, executable & important Gauge conversion projects and the projects which are important from the throughput enhancement considerations. 
  • Thus, focused attention is given in fund allotment, rather than thinly spreading the resources without commensurate results.


Speeding up of trains, on Indian Railways an on-going exercise:

Speeding up of trains, on Indian Railways (IR), is an on-going exercise. The trains are charted keeping in view the speed potential of the rolling stock used and also the Maximum Permissible Speed of the concerned section.

  • It is also dependent on factors like availability/up-gradation of track, doubling of section, up-gradation of rolling stock etc. 
  • In its endeavour to speed up trains, IR during 2018-19 & 2019-20 have speeded up 140 & 70 train services respectively.
  • To contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, IR have discontinued all regular passenger carrying trains w.e.f. 23rd March, 2020. 
  • At present, only special trains keeping in view the concerns and suggestions of State Governments and health advisories, are being operated. 
  • However, during 2020-21, it has been decided to speed up 488 train services.
  • Up-gradation of track infrastructure is done through regular track renewal works, as and when the track becomes due for renewal based on criteria stipulated in Indian Railway Permanent Way Manual (IRPWM). 
  • This up-gradation of track caters for raising of sectional speed of sections upto 130 kmph. Following steps are taken/being taken to improve the railway tracks:
    • During 2020-21, 4363 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal had been carried out. 
    • For the current year i.e. 2021-22, 751 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal has been carried out upto June, 2021.
    • Modern track structure consisting of Prestressed Concrete Sleeper (PSC) Normal/Wide base sleepers with elastic fastening, 60kg, 90 or higher Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails, fan shaped layout turnout on PSC sleepers, Steel Channel Sleepers on girder bridges is used while carrying out primary track renewals.
    • Long rail panels of 260 M/130M length are being manufactured at the steel plant to minimize number of Alumino Thermit joints in the track.
    • Provision of Thick Web Switches (TWS) is planned for all important routes of IR. To expedite provision of TWS, procurement of Thick Web Switches has been decentralized to zonal railways.


This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 06.08.2021.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR