First set of private trains to operate by 2023 in India

Indian Railways will introduce the first set of 12 private trains in 2023, followed by 45 more in the following fiscal. According to an initial timeline drawn by the Railways, all 151 private trains will be introduced by the end of financial year 2026-27.

Proposals have been invited from companies to run these modern passenger trains on 109 pairs of routes across the country. The project would entail an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

The request for qualification (RFQ), floated on July 8, is likely to be finalised by November. The financial bids will be open by March 2021 and selection of bidders is being planned by April 31.

“Tenders will be finalised by March 2021 and trains will operate from March 2023,” a senior official told news agency PTI.

The railways have said that 70% of the private trains will be made in India. The trains will be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. The time taken by private trains shall be equivalent to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route.

The private player will pay the Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. The railways are expected to receive total haulage charges of around Rs 3,000 crore per annum from the operation of these 151 trains.

The operation and maintenance of these trains would be governed by standards and specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways