As announced in the Railway Budget 2015, the Ministry of Railways has decided to increase the Advance Reservation Period (ARP) for booking accommodation from 60 (excluding the date of journey) to 120 days with effect form 1st April 2015.
However, for certain daytime Express trains to which lower time limits for advance reservation already enforced shall not be subjected to the new ARP change. Similarly, the 360-day advance booking for foreign tourists shall also remain unchanged.
Key points form the Rail Budget 2015:
# Railways to go through transformation in five years; to increase track capacity by 10 per cent to 1.38 lakh kms.
# Railway helpline number 138 will become operational for 24×7.
# Disposable linen on payment to be available at all stations.
# Toll free number 182 created for security related complaints.
# Introduction of ‘Operation 5-minute’ to ensure ticket-less passenger get regular ticket within five minute of entering station.
# SMS alert service to be introduced on train arrival and departure; CCTVs to be introduced in selective trains and suburban trains for women safety.
# More general class coaches to be added in identified trains; more AC EMU services for Mumbai suburban section.
# Open wi-fi to be available at 400 railway stations; proposal to revamp the station re-development scheme.
# Projects worth Rs 96,182 crore to expand capacity of 9,420 km rail lines.
# Tickets can now be booked 120 days ahead of travel date, instead of 60 days now, to tackle tout menace.
# Four dedicated freight corridors to be completed this year; 6608 kms of track to be electrified.
# Wagon-making scheme to be reviewed to make it easier for private investment; Speed on nine corridors to be increased from 110-130 to 160-200 kms per hour.
# Feasibility report of high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad expected by mid-2015.
# Preparing 5-year corporate safety plan to be ready in 3 months to identify annual quantifiable targets Rs 6,750 crore allocated for eliminating 3438 level crossings; 970 road-underbridge and road-overbridge to be constructed.
# Plan size raised by 52 per cent to Rs 111,000 crore.
# Regulatory mechanism to be set up for deciding on tariff and disputes: Project worth Rs 2,500 crore using BOT annuity route to be launched.
With inputs from PTI