Indian Railways takes first step towards 'private' trains! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has given IRCTC the go ahead to run its trains on the Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes.
Indian Railways takes first step towards ‘private’ trains! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has given IRCTC the go ahead to run its trains on the Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes. The Tejas Express trains on these two routes will be run entirely by IRCTC with a separate fare structure, a senior railway official told Financial Express Online. The move is part of Indian Railways’ 100-day plan and a definite step towards eventual introduction of ‘private’ trains on the network. According to the official quoted above, “IRCTC has been given the freedom to decide the fare structure of the new Tejas Express trains between Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai.” The e-ticketing and catering arm of Indian Railways can also choose not to make applicable the concessions that passengers can avail on railway tickets.
How will Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express be different from other Indian Railways trains?
Under the new plan by Indian Railways, IRCTC will be handed over the custody of the two Tejas Express rakes between Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai. The on-board ticketing and catering staff on the new trains will not be of Indian Railways. “Only the loco pilots and guards etc will belong to Indian Railways. IRCTC will float a tender for on-board services and the staff on train will be of the firm that wins the contract from IRCTC,” the official told Financial Express Online. IRCTC will pay IRFC or Indian Railway Finance Corporation an annual lease amount for the custody of these rakes. The experiment of handing train routes and rakes entirely to IRCTC is an experiment, which if it succeeds, will pave way for private operators to run world-class trains on key Indian Railways routes.
Tejas Express Lucknow to Delhi fare, starting date
IRCTC will keep passengers’ needs in mind and take feedback to understand what additional amenities they want on this world-class train, the official said. The new trains will also open avenues for IRCTC to earn non-fare revenue by way of advertising. “One of things IRCTC is hoping to offer is the train exterior covering of the train with vinyl wrapping. Plans are being worked out to understand the revenue potential. On the basis of that, IRCTC will decide the fares of the Tejas Express trains will be decided. If the advertisers are willing to pay a handsome amount, then Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express may be kept lower,” the official added.
The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express train services will be treated at par with Shatabdi Express trains in terms of priority clearance by Indian Railways. Operations for the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express are expected to begin as early as the end of September. According to the new time-table of Indian Railways, the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express will depart at 6:50 AM and arrive in Delhi at 1:35 PM every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On the same days, Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will leave at 3:35 PM to reach Lucknow at 10:05 PM.