India unveils new railway budget


The government has unveiled plans to invest $137 billion in its decrepit rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth. Over the next year, India will increase investment by about a half to 1 trillion rupees ($16.15 billion). The railway minister said spending would be focused on improving and expanding existing railway lines, many of which are operating at more than full capacity, with the average speed of the country’s best trains a sluggish 70 km (44 miles) per hour. While India has the world’s fourth largest rail network, it has been outstripped by China, which now has more than six times as much track following an intensive expansion and modernisation of its network over the past two decades.

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