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Rail Bud 2015: Freight rate hike may push up commodity prices


New Delhi: Cement, coal, steel and urea prices are likely to go up with the Railways Minister proposing freight hike up to 10 per cent for various commodities.

The railway budget proposals, presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in Parliament today, proposed to hike freight rates for 12 commodities in the range of 0.8 per cent to 10 per cent.

The proposed hike for cement, coal, iron and steel, grains & pulses, urea, groundnut oil, LPG and kerosene is 2.7 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 0.8 per cent, 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 2.1 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

However, for limestone, dolomite & manganese and speed diesel oil the rates have been reduced by 0.3 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

The Railways Minister has also raised the base freight rates by up to 10 per cent.

Rlys to hike train speed to reduce travel time between metros

New Delhi: The speed of trains connecting major metro cities would be increased up to 200 kilometres per hour (kmph) on nine select railway corridors in a bid to reduce travel time, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced today.

“The speed of nine railway corridors will be increased from the existing 110 and 130 km per hour to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight,” Prabhu announced while presenting his maiden Railway Budget in Lok Sabha.

The increased speed will involve upgradation of track including turnarounds, improve rolling stock to higher standards and adopting improved methods of track recording, monitoring and maintenance.

Efforts would continue to “pursue with vigour” the special projects like high speed rail (Bullet Train) between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Prabhu said.

The feasibility study for this was in an advanced stage and was expected by the middle of this year. “Quick and appropriate action will be taken once the report is available with us,” he said.

Regarding other high speed routes on the diamond quadrilateral, he said studies were being commissioned.

He also proposed to increase average speed of freight trains, both in empty and loaded conditions to be enahnced.

A policy of attaining speeds of 100 km per hour for empty freight trains and 75 km per hour for loaded trains was being put in place to pursue the objective of maximising loading in every trains, he said, adding that loading density on all major freight-bearing routes would be upgraded.

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