Private trains: A win-win situation for Railways and investors, says Kant2 min read . Updated: 17 Sep 2020, 04:58 PM IST
- Kant also informs that request for quotation has already been floated and due date for applications is 7th Oct, 2020
- The first set of 12 private trains will be introduced in 2023, followed by 45 more in the next fiscal, according to an initial timeline drawn by the railways which plans to roll out all 151 such train services by 2027
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant at a press beefing today hailed Ministry of Railways' plan for privatization of the trains in the near future and said this initiative "will source and operate modern technology trains for undertaking passenger business, using Indian Railways' infrastructure."
Kant also informed that request for quotation has already been floated and due date for applications is 7th Oct, 2020.
"This creates a win-win situation for Indian Railways as well as investors, by tapping into the potential of huge unmet demand in passenger business," Kant added.
"We're looking at 109 Origin Destination pairs, divided into 12 clusters requiring 151 trains. They're being taken up for transparent competitive bidding and some most attractive routes which are based on huge unmet demand, will be put out to run premium passenger services," NITI Aayog's CEO said.
The first set of 12 private trains will be introduced in 2023, followed by 45 more in the next fiscal, according to an initial timeline drawn by the railways which plans to roll out all 151 such train services by 2027, officials said.
In a formal kick-start to its plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains on its network, the railways earlier this month invited proposals from companies to run 151 modern passenger trains on 109 pairs of routes across the country. The project would entail a private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore.
As part of the plan for private trains, the railways has planned to introduce 12 trains in 2022-23, 45 in 2023-2024, 50 in 2025-26 and 44 more in the next fiscal, taking the total number of trains to 151 by the end of FY 2026-2027.
The request for qualification (RFQ), which was floated on July 8, is likely to be finalised by November, the financial bids will be opened by March, 2021 and selection of bidders is planned by April 31, 2021, according to a timeline for introduction of private passenger trains prepared by the railways.
Bidders quoting the highest share in gross revenue shall be awarded the project, officials said.
Recently, as many as 23 companies, including Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), have shown interest in running special trains under the Indian Railways’ plans for privatization, and attended the pre-application meeting too. The railways said the firms will have the option to either run their own trains or lease them—a move that is expected to encourage more players to bid for the project.
This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains on the Indian Railways’ network. The project entails a private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore. According to the railways, the trains will operate across 12 clusters, including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Prayagraj, Secunderabad, Howrah and Chennai. By April 2023, some routes are expected to be operationalized.