Indian Railways allows 151 trains to be run by private operators; selection process on

Indian Railways allows 151 trains to be run by private operators; selection process on

New Delhi: Ministry of Railways has recently invited requests for qualifications (RFQ) for private participation for the operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination (OD) pairs of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes), said an official statement.

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, and also reduce the demand-supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.

151 trains proposed to be run by Private operators once the selection process is over, would be over and above the already existing trains. These proposed Train will run on the routes where the demand for trains is already higher than the existing capacity, said the statement.

Notably, the driver and guard of the trains will be Railway officials, and the safety clearance of trains will also be done by the railways only.

The 109 OD pairs have been formed into 12 clusters across the Indian Railway network. Each Train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches. The project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore, and this is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian Railways network.

The majority of trains to be manufactured in India (Make in India). The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation, and maintenance of the trains.

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.

The private entity shall pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in Gross Revenue determined through a transparent bidding process.

The operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to the key performance indicators like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc.

Indian Railways network is about 68,000 route kilometers. In the year 2018-19, the reserved passenger volume was 16% (0.59 billion) of the total originating non- suburban passengers (3.65 billion). Almost 8.85 crore of waitlisted passengers could not be accommodated.

These train services would be operated on the Indian Railway Network where at present both passenger and freight trains are being operated on the common track. The major trunk routes are saturated and operate at near full capacity.

The private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of request for qualification (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP). RFQ process will be for pre-qualification and shortlisting of the bidders will be based on their financial capacity, who will be required to offer a share in the Gross Revenue at RFP stage (bid parameter) for undertaking the project, the statement added.