Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav on Thursday said that private operators will operate only 5 per cent trains under Public Private Partnership while rest 95 per cent will be operated by Indian Railways.
“5 per cent is being offered to private operators under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), 95 per cent trains will be run by Indian Railways. Majority of trains will be manufactured in India. Private train operators will fix fare keeping in mind fares of airlines and AC buses,” said Mr Yadav.
“Our target is that the private trains start running by April 2023. A mechanism will be set up to monitor the performance of the private trains,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Railways has said that it has invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination (OD) pairs of routes through introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes).
A press release from the Ministry of Railways yesterday said, “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. This is the first initiative of private investment for running Passenger Trains over Indian Railways network, the press release read.
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, it said.
The Railways said that 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 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 demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector. The Concession Period for the project shall be 35 years,” it read.
It further read, “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. 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.
Operation and maintenance of the passenger trains would be governed by standards and specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways.