25/02/2016 2:14 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

2016 Rail Budget Highlights: No Change In Fares, Disabled-Friendly Trains

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu poses for media representatives as he arrives at Parliament House to table the Railway Budget in New Delhi on February 25, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Prakash SINGH / AFP / PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

With no hike in passenger fares, increase in seat quota for women and senior citizens, more disabled-friendly coaches, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday announced a slew of people-friendly measures in his second Rail Budget for 2016-17 on Thursday.

Prabhu also announced plans for three new dedicated freight corridors across the country and said there is a need to "look beyond the current approach to expand the basket (of commodities)."

"We will make sure we recapture the traffic," he told Parliament.

These are challenging times, maybe the toughest.

Prabhu said the freight business, which provides two-thirds of Indian railways' revenues, was struggling.

Here are some of the key highlights from his speech.

No hike in fares.

Three new freight corridors announced between Delhi-Chennai, Kharagpur-Mumbai and Kharagpur-Vijayawada.

Increase in quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens.

Long-distance superfast train Antyodaya Express for unreserved passengers.

Baby food at stations, a separate menu for children on all trains.

Separate toilets and Braille-enabled new coaches to be introduced for the divyaang, or differently-abled people.

All major stations under CCTV surveillance soon. To boost transparency, camera surveillance at all tatkal counters.

As many as 17000 toilets to be set up as part of Swacch Rail, Swacch Bharat scheme. The world's first bio-vaccum toilet built by Indian Railways operational in Dibrugarh-Rajdhani Express.

New train 'Tejas' to at 120 km per hour: Prabhu

India's first rail auto hub to come up in Chennai.

Aastha Circuit trains to connect important pilgrimage centres.

FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems.

Overnight 'Uday' double-decker trains.

2,800 km of new tracks in next year.

Mizoram and Manipur to be connected through broad gauge.

Wi-Fi at 100 railway stations this year.

A Railway University to come up.

IRCTC will make available local cuisine.

Porters to be trained in soft skills and called 'Sahayaks' and not coolies.

33% sub-quota for women under all reserved categories.

Drones to be used for remote monitoring of ongoing projects.

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