To create a ‘future ready’ railway system by 2030, Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan (NRP) for India. The plan aims to formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight.

The objective of NRP is to create capacity ahead of demand, which in turn would also cater to future growth in demand right up to 2050 and also increase the modal share of Railways to 45% in freight traffic and continue to sustain it. To achieve this objective all possible financial models including Public Private Partnership (PPP) are being considered.

As part of the plan, Vision 2024 has been launched for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as 100% electrification, multi-tracking of congested routes, upgradation of speed to 160 kmph on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes, upgradation of speed to 130 kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes and elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route.

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Implementation of NRP has already started as railways has identified and prioritised a large number of projects designated as Super Critical, Critical and Coal/Port connectivity, for completion as per the Vision 2024 document which is a subset of the National Rail Plan.

Other features of NRP are:
• Reduce transit time of freight substantially by increasing the average speed of freight trains to 50 kmph.
• Identify new Dedicated Freight Corridors.
• Identify new High Speed Rail Corridors.
• Assess rolling stock requirement for passenger traffic as well as wagon requirement for freight.
• Assess Locomotive requirement to meet twin objectives of 100% electrification (Green Energy) and increasing freight modal share.
• Assess the total investment in capital that would be required along with a periodical break up.
• Sustained involvement of the Private Sector in areas like operations and ownership of rolling stock, development of freight and passenger terminals, development/operations of track infrastructure etc.

The draft plan has been put up in the public domain (Indian Railways website) and is also being circulated amongst stakeholders for comments/remarks.

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