New Delhi, Mar 14: During the next five years Railways plan to modernize nearly 19000 km track through renewal, upgradation of track, replacement and strengthening of 11,250 bridges to run heavier freight trains of 25 tonne axle load and to achieve passenger train speed of 160 kmph and over, with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 63, 212 crore.
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in his rail budget speech today said, an allocation of Rs. 6,467 crore has been made in the Annual Plan 2012-13, which forms about 11% of the total plan outlay.
Trivedi said, with almost 80% of the traffic carried on 40% of the rail network, the high density network (HDN) routes are over-saturated and there is a crying need to upgrade and expand capacity to reduce congestion, provide time for maintenance and improve productivity and safety.
This would include progressive shift to flash butt technology for welding of rails, progressive use of 60kg rails instead of 52 kg, provision of thick web switches at points & crossings, mechanized maintenance with the latest track machines and increased frequency of ultrasonic testing of tracks.
Signalling system on Indian Railways will be modernized with the provisioning of advanced technological features.
These would include Panel/Route Relay Interlocking covering 700 more stations by 2014 thereby completing 5500 out of the required 6200 stations; Interlocking of more than 1500 level crossing gates in addition to the 10000 already interlocked, leaving a balance of 250; complete track circuiting at 1250 out of 6200 identified stations, installation of axle counters at 3000 more stations and provision of isolation at the remaining 625 stations.
Trivedi said, one of the significant advancement would be the provisioning of Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS), which ensures automatic application of brakes whenever a driver over-shoots a signal at danger, thereby eliminating chances of collision of trains.
To begin with, TPWS is proposed to be installed on more than 3,000 route kms, which would cover the entire automatic signalling territory on Indian Railways.
He said, the Railways is taking necessary action to ensure that TPWS technology is suitably adapted to Indian conditions.
Besides the efforts to develop TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System) integrating features of different technologies will be continued by RDSO.
These would also be a pre-requisite to increase speed of passenger trains to 160 kmph.
The total cost of various signalling and telecom works has been estimated to be Rs. 39,110 crore in the next 5 years. Towards this end, the Ministry proposes to provide Rs. 2,002 crore in 2012-13, which is more than double the allocation of the current year and the highest ever.