Budget 2024: 40,000 rail bogies to be converted to Vande Bharat standards, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • The projected contracts will likely be worth 4,000 crore annually for the next few years, according to some estimates

Subhash Narayan
Updated1 Feb 2024, 04:25 PM IST
 A view of the Vande Bharat Sadharan Express train (Representative image)
A view of the Vande Bharat Sadharan Express train (Representative image)

New Delhi: In a move to modernize the Indian Railways, the Centre on Thursday announced an ambitious programme to upgrade 40,000 standard rail coaches to Vande Bharat standards. 

This initiative, announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in while presenting the interim budget for fiscal year 2024-25 (FY25), aims to elevate the safety, convenience, and comfort of rail travel while also providing a boost to private sector railway manufacturers through new refurbishment contracts.

The projected contracts will likely be worth 4,000 crore annually for the next few years, according to experts.

“The initiative to elevate regular rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards represents a substantial opportunity for railway sector players. The projected contracts are estimated to be worth 4,000 crore annually for the next few years," said Subodh Jain, a former Railway Board member, elaborated on the economic implications of the upgrade programme. “The comprehensive refurbishment of 40,000 coaches is planned to be phased over 8-10 years, with an approximate rate of 4,000 bogies per year.”

Sitharaman said that this large-scale conversion project, focused on the commuter experience, will revolutionize the way people travel by rail.

Additionally, the finance minister announced the implementation of three major economic corridors to alleviate congestion on railway network. These programmes, comprising energy, mineral, and cement corridors; port connectivity corridors; and high traffic density corridors, fall under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, promoting multi-modal connectivity.

These corridors are expected to significantly decongest high-traffic routes, enhancing the efficiency of passenger train operations, leading to safer and faster journeys.

Economic programmes, alongside the dedicated freight corridors, are envisioned to catalyse GDP growth and reduce logistics costs, as highlighted by Sitharaman.

“The decision to upgrade 40,000 regular rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards in the Union Budget 2024 is a clear indication of the government's commitment to elevating the quality and reliability of our railway services. This will significantly benefit millions of passengers throughout India," said Vivek Lohia, managing director of Jupiter Wagons Ltd.

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First Published:1 Feb 2024, 04:25 PM IST
HomeIndustryInfrastructureBudget 2024: 40,000 rail bogies to be converted to Vande Bharat standards, says Nirmala Sitharaman

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