The Railway Ministry plans to foray into radio broadcast to provide free on-board and customised entertainment across all trains in order to boost its advertising revenue.

The Non-Fare Revenue (NFR) Directorate of the Railway Ministry pegs the revenue from advertisements through on-board radio at over ₹100 crore per year. Last year’s total advertising earnings were ₹263 crore.

According to a senior official, the capital expenditure in setting up speakers and amplifiers for the purpose is expected to be around ₹40 crore while the operating expenditure per year is estimated at nearly ₹3 crore.

Neither of the two expenditures will be borne by the Railways.The project will be tendered to the highest bidder on revenue sharing model.

Once implemented, all trains will have a customised play list of music, which could vary state-wise.

The on-board Public Announcement (PA) system will also be used to disseminate passenger convenience related information, like delay in arrival, reason for delay, among others. These will be interspersed with advertisements.

Currently, the ministry is considering internet-based radio for a wider reach across its entire network but is open to alternative technology or medium, sources said.