Last October, railway employee unions staged protests against Tejas Express, the country’s first private train that runs between Lucknow and Delhi. The All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) held nationwide protests to oppose the railway board’s decision to launch Tejas and give another 150 trains to be operated by the private sector. Who owns Tejas and railways moving towards privatisation?
So, let’s start with October 2019, when the Indian Railways made history by flagging off India’s first private train Tejas Express between Lucknow and Delhi. Now understand, despite being supported by corporate players, the train is essentially managed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways.
What does ‘private train’ mean ?
The Railway Board has made it clear that none of the physical operations and infrastructure – including safety-related operations – will be handled by private players. In case of Tejas, the locomotives