Highlights of Railway Budget 2008-09


New Delhi : Following are the highlights of the Railway Budget 2008-09, presented in the Lok Sabha Tuesday by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad:

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Free season tickets to girl students till graduation

50 percent concession for AIDS patients, senior women citizens and Ashok Chakra awardees

Arrival time to be printed on tickets

Wait-listed e-tickets to be introduced

Tickets to be confirmed through mobile phones

20,000 km of high-density network planned

30 major stations to have multi-level platforms

All level crossings to be manned

Staff benefit fund to be increased by 10 times this fiscal

Only stainless steel coaches to be made from now on

Many Rajdhani trains extended to cover more destinations

Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains to have new coaches by 2011

Hospital trains to be introduced with healthcare and operating facilities

16,548 km of railway track to be replaced

Railways to build cargo terminals in 50 major locations

Private companies can have their own cargo terminals on railway land

Wagon leasing policy introduced to facilitate business

Additional Rs.200 billion earned on freight services

790 tonnes payload or weight per freight train target achieved

Payload to go up 78 percent by increasing wagons to 58 from 40

15,000 freight wagons to be added

470 engines to be added in 2008-09

15,000 automated ticket machines by 2009

Smartcard technology for ticketing system

Rs.40 billion to be spent on green toilets

More trains in peak season

Rs.250 billion in profits in 2007-08

New earnings of 21 percent in 2007-08

Rs.300 billion to be spent on network expansion

Rs.492.50 billion invested in new projects

Cash surplus in 2007-08 at Rs.250 billion

Operating ratio a favourable 76 percent