New Delhi: Minister Suresh Prabhu began presenting his maiden budget for the Indian Railways in the Lok Sabha Thursday, promising to balance the needs of passengers and the long-term interests of the network so that it can be benchmarked globally on quality, safety and reach.

"Railways facilities have not improved substantially for the past few decades which is the result of under-investment that affects capacity, leading to poor morale. This fed into vicious cycle of chronic under-investment for a long time," Railway Minister Prabhu said.

He said safety, quality of service, standards and efficiency all suffered due to poor financial resources available with the Indian Railways, which further fed into the vicious cycle of poor investment.

"This must be put to an end," he said, adding: "We have to make Indian Railways a benchmark organisation in safety, security and infrastructure."

Earlier he presented a white paper on Indian Railways, which he said will form a trilogy of what plans he had in mind for one of the largest such networks in the world along with his budget for 2015-16 and a Vision 2013 document to be presented later in the year.