The Ministry of Railways has envisioned “Mission Raftaar” to reach a goal of doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of superfast, mail, and express trains by 25 kmph. The Railway Minister claimed that the overall punctuality and travel time of Indian Railways’ train operations were examined in the CAG report, which was presented during budget session 2022. One of the documents utilised as audit criteria for the creation of the report is Mission Raftaar.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, “Mission Raftaar is not a standalone project, and the overall allocation and utilization of funds under Mission Raftaar cannot be quantified.”
Speeding up of trains is a constant endeavour and a continuous process on Indian Railways, which is dependent on constant optimization of the investments made by Railways in the modernisation of technology, high-powered locos, modern coaches, and better tracks, he said.
Vaishnaw said Indian Railways are inter alia proliferating Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, which have higher speed potential, converting passenger trains operating with conventional coaches into MEMU services (which have higher acceleration/deceleration owing to distrusted power). As a part of “Mission Raftaar” and during the period 2015-16 and 2021-22, 414 passenger train services have been converted into MEMU services.
Indian Railway is constructing more than 3,000 Km of Dedicated Freight Corridor(DFC), which would enable freight trains to run at speed of 100 kmph. There is a marked improvement in average freight train speed. During the financial year, 2016-17 to the financial year 2020-21, the average speed of freight trains increased from 23.7 km/hr to 41.2 km/hr.
(With inputs from ANI)