Indian Railways begins process for entry of ‘private trains’

The Indian Railways on Wednesday kick-started the process to allow private players to operate certain trains on its network by inviting Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for operation of passenger train services on over 100 routes with 150 modern trains.

The Ministry of Railways said this is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian Railways network and will attract investments of about ₹30,000 crore.

“Ministry of Railways has invited RFQ for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination (OD) pairs of routes through introduction of 151 modern Trains…Each Train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches,” the national transporter said in a statement.

It added that the objective of the initiative was 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 Delhi-Lucknow Tejas is the first train that is not operated by the Indian Railways, as Railways geared up to allow private train operators. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC), which is a public sector undertaking, was entrusted with running the train, in addition to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas and the Kashi Mahakal Express (between Varanasi and Indore).

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