Indian Railways, in a bid to provide world-class travel experience to passengers, has been working closely with NITI Aayog to streamline the process of allowing private sector to run trains on the network.
Indian Railways all set to lease out traffic routes and parcel trains to private sector! During a recent CII online event, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that Indian Railways is soon going to start as many as 150 private trains for passengers and invited the private sector to participate in that. According to Goyal, the private sector can support in a million ways. He further said that the private players can identify the routes, where they want to set up a train service. He further said that the Railway Ministry is willing to co-invest with private players in new lines. Railway Ministry is willing to lease out traffic routes, parcel trains, so there are a lot of opportunities opening up for the private sector, Goyal said.
Indian Railways, in a bid to provide world-class travel experience to passengers, has been working closely with NITI Aayog to streamline the process of allowing private sector to run trains on the network. According to the draft NITI Aayog note, 150 private trains on 100 routes can be awarded in the first phase of the ambitious project.
During the online event, the Railway Minister also said that the private sector can look at an elevated corridor along the national highways (NHs) as procurement of land would not be a challenge there. At present, three private trains are run by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on the Indian Railways network- Lucknow – Delhi Tejas Express, Ahmedabad -Mumbai Tejas Express and Kashi Mahakal Express.
While speaking about freight loading, the Railway Minister said that this month, the national transporter was able to move around 95 per cent of the freight that it moved on June 21 last year. He said that Indian Railways is just 5 per cent down from what was on 21 June 2019. If the month of June is taken as a whole, the national transporter is about 8 per cent down, from June 1 to June 21 in terms of freight loading. By the month of July, Goyal believes that Indian Railways should be at par. Also, he is looking for growth from August-September onwards, the minister added.
Besides freight loading, the Railway Minister also mentioned that the average speed of freight trains was 41.74 km per hour as of 21 June 2020, as compared to 22.98 km per hour on 21 June last year. Indian Railways is utilizing this time intelligently to complete maintenance works that were long-awaited, to interconnect many rail lines that required long hours of shutdown, he added.