Big Reform! Green Signal To Start Private Trains, 151 Modern Trains Will Run On 109 Routes
New Delhi : Railways on Wednesday formally stepped up the plan to allow private units to run passenger trains on its network. Under this, eligibility requests have been invited for the movement of passenger trains through 151 modern trains on 109 routes. Railways gave this information and said that it will invest around Rs 30,000 crore from the private sector.
First step for private investment
This is the first step for private investment to run passenger trains on the railway network. However, it was started by the Indian Railways Food and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) last year with the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express. Currently IRCTC operates three trains – Kashi-Mahakal Express on Varanasi-Indore route, Lucknow-New Delhi operates Tejas and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas.
Each train will have a minimum of 16 coaches.
According to the railways, the grace period for the project will be 35 years and the private entity will have to pay the Indian Railways transportation charges, energy charges based on actual consumption. In addition, they will have to contribute to the gross revenue fixed through transparent bidding. The railways said, “These trains will be operated by the drivers and guards of the Indian Railways.
Trains operated by private units will meet key standards such as being reliable and timely. He said that the operation and maintenance of passenger trains would be in accordance with the norms and requirements set by the Railways. The process of awarding some routes to private units will be completed in two phases. The first process began on Wednesday with an eligibility request. In this, eligibility of private bidder will be decided. The second step will be the request proposal (RFP). Revenue and routes will be decided in the subsequent process.
Indigo, Vistara and SpiceJet have shown interest
Sources said that before the COVID-19 crisis, Adani Ports and Make My Trip and the airline Indigo, Vistara and SpiceJet had shown interest in running private trains. Other companies to be attracted to this include foreign companies such as Alstom Transport, Bambardier, Siemens AG and Macquarie. According to the railways, passengers will get airline-like services in these trains. Private units will supply catering, cleanliness and beds to passengers in addition to fixing fares.