Speaking at the ET Global Business Summit, Vaishnaw outlined modernisation programmes across Indian Railways that are aimed at not only improving the consumer experience but also creating world-class trains, stations and tracks. “There is a big focus on public investments,” he said, adding that every rupee invested for infrastructure development creates economic activity worth Rs 3.6.
Speaking about the railways, Vaishnaw said around 4,500km of track network is being added every year. He said plans to modernise 1,275 stations have been initiated and construction has already begun at 49.
Times Litfest: ‘Whatever work we do, Modiji keeps raising the bar’, says Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw
“We were told by the PM to change the passenger experience, both within the trains and also during ticketing and at stations. When we are designing the new stations, it is not for the short term, but for the next 50 or more years.” Vaishnaw said the railways are creating additional infrastructure at the same locations by adding roof plazas and other such measures.
He also spoke about building the ambitious Vande Bharat train from scratch in India. On the bullet train project, Vaishnaw said the progress has been “phenomenal”, with 149km of pillar and track work completed.