In the last five years, Indian Railways has been transformed drastically under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From the latest achievement of indigenously developing the country’s fastest train Vande Bharat Express, there have been several firsts in Indian Railways.

Here are six major achievements of Indian Railways under Modi

1. Vande Bharat Express

It is India’s first semi-high speed train and was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. It is first indigenously built engineless train. It is meant for intra-day travel and it is expected to reduce travel time by 10-15% as compared to Shatabdi Express. It is built by capable engineers from the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in a short span of only 18 months. It can touch speeds up to 220 kmph. Railway minister Piyush Goyal has announced that this train shall be the future of Indian Railways.

2. Railways and Alstom develop locomotives under #MakeInIndia

Indian Railways in collaboration with Alstom SA from France manufactured 12,000 HP locomotives at its Madhepura factory. This is an export oriented and completely #MakeInIndia initiative which is a matter of great pride for the nation. Developing a locomotive which is faster and with higher hauling capacity is a mean feat in itself. The hauling capacity is 6,000 tonnes and can reach a maximum speed of 120kmph.

Further, Indian Railways converted its diesel locomotive into an electric locomotive. With this success, now the Indian Railways plans to convert all its diesel locomotives to electric ones during their mid-life rehabilitation. This ensures better efficiency and protects the environment too.

3. Highest ever production of Linke Hofmann Busch coaches

The coach manufacturing has picked up across its factories and the pace is astonishing. India shall soon be exporting the same too. Indian Railways has manufactured more LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches in the last two years than what it did in the first 17 years since their introduction. Railways manufactured 5,500 coaches between 2017 and December 2018. Between 2001 and March 31, 2016, 4,020 LHB coaches were manufactured and just in 2016-2017, 1,470 LHB coaches were produced.

4. Use of LEDs, solar power and WiFi across railway stations

Could you ever imagine 100% LED lighting of all railway stations was ever possible? Now it is done. LEDs are eco friendly, consume less power and provide better lighting and are aesthetically more beautiful as well. A first in the world, solar panels were used as grid in railways.

A total of 16 solar panels, each producing 300 Wp, were fitted in six coaches and the train has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours. The cost of these solar panels, manufactured under 'Make in India' initiative, is Rs 54 lakh. Today, every big station in India has free and reliable WiFi for the passengers.

5. Railway electrification at its peak and safety

New electric locomotives need electrified rail lines. The government has ensured a record breaking 4,087 Rkm of tracks are electrified just in 2017-18 year itself. Can you imagine there were about 4,943 unmanned level crossings which had to be eliminated and proper safety features installed. The number of railway accidents caused due to unmanned level crossings in the year 2009-10 was 65. 48 accidents were reported in 2010-2011, 54 in 2011-2012, 53 in 2012-2013, 47 in 2013-2014, 50 in 2014-2015, 29 in 2015-2016, 20 in 2016-2017, 10 in 2017-2018, three in 2018-2019.

6. High-class facilities at railway stations

This is newly opened Manduadiah railway station in Varanasi

A Railway waiting lounge at Tirupati

Railways is transforming. A New India of tomorrow needs railways as its engine

Escalators at Ahmedabad (Kalupur) railway station

IRCTC retiring room at Kacheguda railway station

Beautification of Kota railway station

BogiBeel Bridge