Railways invites bids from private companies to run passanger trains

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900"]Indian railway file photo For representational purposes (File Photo |EPS)[/caption]

On Wednesday, Taking a major step towards privatization, the indian Railway invited private investment eligibility requests (Request for Qualification or RFQ) to operate on more than 109 routes of passenger trains. The project of participation of private companies in the operation of passenger trains will require investment of about Rs 30,000 crore from the private sector. Private companies selected for passenger rail services will have to pay the prescribed transportation charges and electricity charges as per actual consumption. Private companies will be responsible for financing, purchasing and maintaining trains.

The guards and drivers of trains operated by private companies will be from the Indian Railways. Under this scheme, the railway network of the entire country is divided into 12 clusters and 109 pairs of private trains will run in these 12 clusters. Each train will have at least 16 coaches and this train will run at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The private company will buy the rolling stock of these trains. Railways will only provide drivers and guards.

Private investment is the first initiative to run passenger trains on the Indian railway network. Railways say that this initiative aims to bring state-of-the-art technology, thereby reducing the burden of maintenance. This will provide new employment opportunities, increase safety and security and provide world class facilities to the passengers. All trains will be made in India under Make in India. Companies that will get the opportunity will have to handle the financing, procurement, operation and maintenance. Railways will give the project to private companies for 35 years.