Private trains on Indian Railways network: Passengers will love this! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has invited Request for Qualifications for private sector participation on over 100 railway routes with 150 modern, world-class trains. The RFQs have been invited for over 109 origin-destination pairs of routes which will entail the introduction of 150 world-class modern trains with at least 16 coaches each on the Indian Railways network. These private trains, manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, will be capable of attaining speeds of 160 kmph.
The first-of-its-kind project, which is being implemented with the guidance of NITI Aayog, is expected to see private sector investment of around Rs 30,000 crore. In line with this thought, Indian Railways had last year started India’s first “private passenger train” on the Delhi-Lucknow route, run by IRCTC.
According to Indian Railways, the 109 pairs of routes have been formed into 12 clusters that will cover major parts of the Indian Railways network. The aim of the project is to upgrade passenger experience on the railway network to world-class standards, with modern train rakes, most of which will be manufactured in the country under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Indian Railways will earn by charging the private entity fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption. Not just that, the national transporter will also get a share in the gross revenue which will be decided through a transparent bidding process.
Private trains on Indian Railways: Top facts
- The private trains, designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph, will result in a significant reduction in travel time for the passengers, hopes Indian Railways. The run time of the train will be similar to the fastest Indian Railways train running on a particular route.
- The concept by Indian Railways is similar to “trains on demand”, with the idea being to boost the availability of trains on high-demand routes. The ultimate aim is to eliminate the need for waitlisted tickets on the Indian Railways network.
- The private sector entity will be responsible for not just procuring and financing of the project but also the operation and maintenance of the trains. The concession period for the project will be 35 years.
- From the point of view of passengers, the new project will mean world-class trains providing world-class travel experience and reduce journey times with higher safety standards.
- The private sector entity will have to ensure punctuality, reliability and standard of services for the trains. The trains will be operated by the driver and guard provided by Indian Railways.