The project would entail private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore, says the national transporter
Private entities once selected for passenger rail operations shall pay fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption
New Delhi: Indian Railways on Wednesday said it has invited proposals to shortlist bidders and allow private companies run 151 modern passenger trains over 109 Origin Destination(OD) pairs of routes. The project would entail private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore, an official statement said.
The move to allow private players to operate passengers will not only end the longstanding monopoly of the national transporter in running trains, but will also start a rush of private investment into the Indian Railways.
“The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers," it said.
The railway ministry said that the majority of these modern trains will be manufactured in India and the private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains. The concession period for the project will be 35 years and the private firm will have to pay the fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process to the national transporter.
“Trains shall be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a substantial reduction in journey time. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route," it said.
“These trains shall be operated by the driver and guard of Indian Railways. The operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to the key performance indicators like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc," it said.