World-class private trains on Indian Railways network soon! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is working on plans to allow private operators to run trains on its network - a move that can be termed as a transformational initiative.
World-class private trains on Indian Railways network soon! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is working on plans to allow private operators to run trains on its network – a move that can be termed as a transformational initiative. The Railway Board has already proposed 24 key routes which zonal railways have been asked to study and come up with feasibility reports. A recent Railway Board letter, seen by Financial Express Online, lists 24 busy routes connecting important cities. These are for long-distance and overnight trains, inter-city trains and sub-urban trains. According to the letter, Railway Board’s Member Traffic will chair a meeting on September 27, by which time the zonal railways have been asked to identify “potentially viable and operationally feasible” routes.
The national transporter is of the view that private operators will be able to induct modern passenger trains to provide world-class services to passengers. The private train operators will be decided on the basis of a participative global bidding process, Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav has indicated earlier. The private operators will pay Indian Railways haulage charges, while retaining the right to fix and collect fares on the basis of a Concession Agreement.
Private trains on Indian Railways network: Full list of 24 potential routes
Overnight and long-distance services:
The meeting will also decide on the possible operational issues in the context of allowing private operators to run trains. The routes need to be identified so that the Railway Ministry can prepare the Request For Quotation (RFQ) and concession documents.
As part of its 100 Day Action Plan, Indian Railways had identified the need for allowing private trains as one of the key reforms. The first step in that direction was taken after IRCTC was given operational and ticketing charge of the Lucknow-Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express trains. The success of this experiment will help determine the terms and conditions under which private operators can run trains in India.