In order to cut short the running time of over 500 long distance trains by up to two hours, the Indian Railways has introduced a new timetable, which would be effective from November 1, 2017.
The "innovative timetabling" has been introduced under the direction of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The running time of popular trains will reduce by 15 minutes to two hours from Wednesday.
Trains such as the Bhopal-Jodhpur Express will reach 95 minutes early while the Guwahati-Indore Special will complete its 2,330-km journey 115 minutes early and the 1929-km journey of the Ghazipur-Bandra Terminus Express will be completed 95 minutes earlier.
The national transporter has also reduced the halt time of trains at stations. Similarly, trains will not stop at stations where footfall is less.
Coupled with track and infrastructure upgrade, automatic signalling and the new Linke-Hofmann-Busch coaches that allow a 130 kmph top speed, trains are expected to run faster.
The railways has also in the process of reviewing permanent speed restrictions.
Over Rs 50,000 crore spent on rail safety till August 31
The government has said it has spent over Rs 50,000 crore out of a total outlay of Rs 1.31 lakh crore on rail safety in this fiscal.
The government has planned a capital expenditure outlay of Rs 131,000 crore for railway safety in 2017-18, of which it spent Rs 50,762 crore till August 31, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa told reporters earlier this month.
The government in its Budget this year announced a special safety fund of Rs 1.31 lakh crore for Indian Railways.
Lavasa said the pace of laying new railway tracks had been hastened from 380 km in 2014-15 to 953 km in 2016-17.
'Unmanned railways crossings to go within a year'
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in September had announced that the railway authorities have been asked to remove unmanned level crossings within a year.
"Initially, the railways had a target of removing all unmanned crossings in three years. But I told them, why not do it within a year? There are around 5,000-odd such level crossings. Removal of unmanned crossing will lead to 30-35 percent reduction in accidents," he had said at a programme organised by IIM-Calcutta here.