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Indian Railways will introduce private trains in phases and the first set of 12 private trains is going to be launched by 2023.
Indian railways announced that it will allow private players to run trains recently. As ongoing process, Indian railways are all set to introduce 12 private trains by the fiscal year 2023-24. This will be followed by another 45 private trains in the next fiscal year and a total of 151 private trains by 2027.
In order to formally kick start the privatization Indian railways, officials have invited proposals from various private players earlier this month to run 151 modern trains in 109 different routes across the country.
The private sector would invest a whopping Rs.30,000 crore in Indian railways as a part of the introduction of 151 modern trains.
In its phase wise deployment of private trains, Indian railways is going to launch 12 trains in 2022-23, 45 trains in 2023-24 and 44 more in the next fiscal year which amount to a total of 151 trains by the end of 2027.
On July 8, the request for qualification (RFQ) has been put forward by Railways and is likely to be finalized by November this year. Financial bids will be started by March 2021 and by April 31, selection of the bidders would be completed. This timeline for introduction of private trains has been prior planned by Railways.
Bidders quoting the highest share in the gross revenue of Indian Railways would be awarded the project.
The railway officials recently said that 70% of the manufacturing of these private trains would be done in India itself and would be designed to travel at a maximum speed of 160 km/hr.
The running time of the private trains would be much higher than the fastest train currently being operated by the Indian Railways. There would be a reduction in journey time by 10 to 15% at 130 km/hr and about 30% at 160 km/hr.
As per the bidding process, private players will pay the haulage charges, energy charges and the share in gross revenue. The railways is expected to receive Rs. 3000 crore every year through the operation of 151 private trains.
However, the trains shall be operated the driver and the guards of Indian railways itself. The operation and maintenance of these would be governed by Indian Railways only.
The railway officials have also prescribed the penalties that private players shall face in cases of non-punctuality, performance standards and outcomes. Only 1 failure per 1lakh kilometer journey would be considered normal.
By Gayatri Yellayi