Explained | How the Indian Railways is planning to attract more bidders to run trains

The Indian Railways is evaluating a new bidding process to make it easier and more attractive for private players to run passenger trains in India, after its first round of bidding attracted only two players.

Private entity Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd and state-run Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp were the two. The bidding process had started in July. While the Indian Railways is yet to declare the results of the first round of bidding, reports suggest it may even be scrapped.

Additionally, bids were received for only three of the 12 train clusters. Among them, one saw only a single bid – by IRCTC. Megha Engineering bid for the Delhi 1 and Delhi 2 clusters.

The Ministry of Railways had, in July, rolled out bids for private sector participation in 12 clusters. The plan involved as many as 109 origin-destination pairs and a 35-year concession period was to be provided to winning bidders on a revenue-basis model.

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