Indian Railways said that in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Concession Agreement, the Concessionaire will have the flexibility in deciding the stops or halts.
Indian Railways’ Private Train Project: Soon, over 150 trains to ply on 109 Indian Railways’ routes by private operators! According to a PTI report, Indian Railways will give private operators the freedom to choose halt railway stations of the trains they operate. However, the list of such intermediate railway stations on the trains’ paths where the private operators are proposing halts, have to be submitted in advance to Indian Railways. The in and out time at the intermediate railway stations, which shall form part of the train operation plan, will also have to be provided by the private operators, according to the report.
In reply to a query by one of the private players who attended the pre-application meetings, Indian Railways said that in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Concession Agreement, the Concessionaire will have the flexibility in deciding the stops or halts. The national transporter has also stated that such halts/stops of the upcoming private trains will not be more than the number of existing halts of the fastest Indian Railways train operating in that route.
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The private operators, as part of the train operation plan, will also have to include the stations at which the water tanks in the trains need to be filled. Also, they have to include the stations, washing or stabling lines, at which the train toilets would be evacuated. However, according to Indian Railways, if made necessary due to operational exigencies, the private operator may also be allowed to stop at railway stations that are not forming part of the train operation plan. Besides, depending on market conditions, the private operators will decide the private trains’ fares. The project is a first-of-its-kind venture, to bring in private companies to run trains. It is expected to see an investment of around Rs 30,000 crore from the private sector.
The 109 pairs of routes across the Indian Railways network have been formed into as many as 12 clusters that will cover major parts of the rail network. The private train project’s aim is to upgrade the experience of railway travellers to world-class standards, with modern train rakes. Most of these rakes will be developed under the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.