Under the Union Budget 2024-25 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024, at 11 am in the Parliament, three economic railway corridors – Energy, Mineral and Cement corridor, Port Connectivity Corridor and a High Traffic Density Corridor- were announced.
Identified under the PM Gati Shakti scheme, these corridors would enable multi-modal connectivity, aiming to accelerate economic growth. FM Sitharaman said in her speech that these corridors will reduce costs and enhance logistics efficiency.
By decongesting high-traffic corridors, the operation of passenger trains is expected to improve, resulting in increased safety and higher travel speeds for passengers.
Additionally, the Union Finance Minister also announced that 40,000 regular train bogies would be upgraded and converted to Vande Bharat trains to enhance the safety, convenience and comfort of the passengers.
In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Finance Ministry allocated the highest-ever capital expenditure outlay of Rs 2.40 lakh crore for the Indian Railways, almost nine times the outlay made in FY2013-14. The figure for railway capex for FY25 is marginally higher at Rs 2.55 lakh crore.
In 2022, Indian Railways announced its ambitious plans to expand rail infrastructure and network by FY2027-28 to achieve 3000 million tonnes of freight loading by FY30. Under the mission, over 1200 works will be completed within five years with a projected capex of Rs 8.45 lakh crore.