Confirmed train tickets soon, say goodbye to waitlisted tickets! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is working on a multi-thousand crore project that will eventually eliminate the need for waitlisted train tickets on high-demand railway routes. The national transporter aims to do this by introducing private trains on key railway routes. Indian Railways has already set the ball rolling for the Rs 30,000 crore private trains project by inviting Request for Qualifications (RFQs) for 109 pairs of routes.
“The idea of the private trains is that we should be able to offer a confirmed seat to all passengers on all major high-demand routes. The additional trains, over and above what Indian Railways is already running, will help cater to unmet demand,” VK Yadav, Chairman Railway Board has said.
The 109 pairs of routes have been divided into 12 clusters by Indian Railways. The private entity shortlisted for any particular cluster will have to use its own trains that meet Indian Railways standards. Around 150 modern world-class trains are expected to be introduced by the private sector under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Most of these 150 trains with at least 16 coaches each will be manufactured in India. The trains will aim to enhance passenger experience as well as reduce travel time for passengers. The trains will have the capability to achieve 160 kmph speed.
According to VK Yadav, the first private train will hit tracks sometime in April 2023. The financial bids will be invited in the coming months and after a private entity is shortlisted for a cluster, the company will share designs for new trains. These designs will be as per the specifications given by Indian Railways. Once the designs are approved, the private company will manufacture the world-class train rakes and train sets. Most of these modern trains will be manufactured in India, but to begin with, if the private entity is a foreign original equipment manufacturer, they can be imported.