Rail Budget 2015: Slew of passenger amenities announced

New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Thursday announced a slew of passenger facilities in his maiden budget including user-friendly ladders to mount upper berths to increasing lower-berth quota for senior citizens.

The other amenities are:

>> Unreserved ticket purchase made simpler through smart phones, debit cards

>> Introduction of 'Operation Five Minutes' to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes

>> Introduction of 17,000 bio-toilets in trains

>> Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments

>> All India 24 X 7 helpline 138 from March 1; Toll free No.182 - for security complaints

>> All newly-manufactured coaches to be braille-enabled

>> Online booking for wheel chairs to be enabled

>> Wi-Fi facility to be extended to category B stations

>> SMS alerts to be introduced to inform passengers in advance about the updated arrival/ departure time of trains at starting or destination stations

>> New department to keep stations clean

>> Toilets at stations need improvement; 650 additional toilets to be created in addition to 120 last year

>> Rs.120 crore provided for lifts and escalators to facilitate movement of passengers and goods

>> Collaboration with NIFT and NID for better bed rolls, inner coach designs

>> For the benefit of the soldiers, a Defence Travel System has been developed for elimination of warrants to make travel easier. This facility has been commissioned in 600 locations.

>> To expand water vending machines to most railway stations to ensure availability of clean drinking water at very low cost to people

>> The facility of self-operated lockers would also gradually be made available at stations

>> TTEs would be instructed to help senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled people in obtaining lower berths

>> Middle bay of coaches will be reserved for women and senior citizens for reasons of safety

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