An RTI reply from the Railway Board has revealed that 813 new trains were introduced after the Railway Budget was merged with the General Budget in 2016.
The then union minister Suresh Prabhu did not announce a single new train or extension of services while presenting the Railway Budget in 2015-16 and ended the practice of one-time announcement of trains.
Indian Railways brought in 144 new services in 2019-20, 266 in 2018-2019, 170 in 2017-2018 and 223 in 2016-2017, reports Business Standard.
However, no new trains were introduced in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The announcement of new trains was often done for political reasons. Nowadays, things have been rationalized and new trains are announced when and where there is a need for them,” a Railway official said.
Before 2015, Mamata Banerjee, as Railway Minister, announced 56 new trains in the 2011-2012 budget.
In 2012-13, 72 trains were introduced, and 112 trains were announced the following year.
In 2014-15, 43 new trains were announced by then Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.