Local Train
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced the Rail Budget 2016 on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. In picture: A crowded local train chugs into Bidhannagar Station - a Kolkata Suburban Railway Junction Station in Kolkata.IANS

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Rail Budget 2016 in Parliament Thursday, keeping passenger fares unchanged and announcing modern amenities in trains and railway stations. 

Stating that the Rail Budget was aimed at meeting aspirations of the common man, Prabhu said the facilities announced were meant to make train travel more comfortable for passengers. 

From bio-toilets to Wi-Fi services, here's what's in the Rail Budget 2016 for passengers:

No hike in fares: Prabhu refrained from hiking passenger fares this year in a relief for passengers, since the Modi government had hiked fares in the previous two budgets.

Additional berths: The railway ministry will provide 65,000 additional berths in trains. The ministry also proposed a 50 percent increase in seat quota for senior citizens as well as increase in the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens.

Wi-Fi at railway stations: The railway ministry said it will install Wi-Fi services at 100 stations this year and 400 more stations in the next two years in partnership with Google.

Bio-toilets: Prabhu said 17,000 bio-toilets will be set up in trains by the end of this financial year in keeping with the Swacch Bharat Mission. 

SMS to clean coaches: The ministry launched the "Clean my coach" service that will let passengers send an SMS to ask for their train coach to be cleaned. This service will be rolled out across India. 

E-ticketing: Prabhu said the capacity of e-ticketing systems will be enhanced from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute. This move will help support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against 40,000 at present. 

Ticket cancellation: The ministry will introduce the facility to cancel tickets through the 139 helpline through a "One Time Password" verification process on registered phone numbers. 

FM Radio entertainment - The railway minister said the government will invite FM radio stations to provide entertainment through PA systems on trains. 

Unreserved travel: The ministry will introduce Antyodaya Express, a fully unreserved, super-fast train service for dense long-distance routes. A few Deen Dayalu coaches will also be added in some long distance trains for unreserved travel. 

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