The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has suspended the Lucknow-New Delhi and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Tejas Express services, following poor occupancy and passenger demand, and an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. The decision will be reviewed again next month, after the evaluation of occupancy levels of other trains by Indian Railways, operating on both these routes. IRCTC restarted the operations of these Tejas Express trains on October 17 as the situation got better. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central and Lucknow-New DelhiTejas Express trains are the country’s first private trains which are fully air-conditioned and running on semi high speed
The Lucknow-New Delhi service operated for almost six months, while the Ahmedabad-Mumbai operated for around three months. Both train services were suspended on March 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IRCTC, both Tejas Expres strains witnessed poor occupancy and low passenger demand amid the pandemic. Hence, the services of Lucknow-New Delhi IRCTC Tejas Express train number 82501/01 were temporarily halted from November 23, 2020. The services of Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Ahmedabad IRCTC Tejas Express train number 82901/02 have been temporarily suspended from November 24, 2020.
Meanwhile, recently, Indian Railways announced that it will introduce the services of 151 modern trains services which will be operated by the public-private partnership (PPP). Indian Railways had sought private investment worth ₹ 30,000 crore. In this regard, the process of evaluating applications for PPP in passenger train operations was completed, and out of 120 applications,102 were selected to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. Major infrastructure leaders such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T), GMR, BHEL were among the selected applicants qualified to bid in the first stage.