The Union Cabinet has approved the Railways? plan to attract investment from the private sector for constructing new tracks and plants and to increase passenger and freight carrying capacity. The investment will be used for connecting ports, mines and industrial plants with the rail network. The move is likely to reduce transportation costs and help reach raw materials quicker to their production centres. In areas where putting up a third or fourth track is possible, the government is likely to enter into a BOT (build-operate-transfer) arrangement with the contractor. Some lines will also be taken up under competitive bidding through an annuity model for concession periods ranging between 15 and 20 years. Model agreements for private participation, ranging from NGR (non-government railway) to BOT, joint ventures and capacity augmentation, would be finalised soon.