After running the country’s first private train Tejas, now Indian Railways has invited private companies to run 151 private trains in India. The Private trains which will start in 12 clusters in the country are expected to run between different cities of India. In the coming days, the passengers will feel the unique experience of a world-class journey.
Indian Railways has planned for operations of the private trains in India. One hundred fifty-one private trains will operate on the pattern of Tejas Express. Indian Railways has already started preparations for this. Railways have begun working on a procedure to allow individual units to run passenger trains on its network. Private trains can be run on 109 routes. The railway has invited tenders for this. According to news agency PTI, the Railways said that the private sector would invest money in it and an investment of about Rs 30,000 crores will be made. This is the first step to be taken for initiating private investment to run passenger trains on the rail routes of Indian Railways.
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151 Private Trains in India Will Operate by 2027
An Indian Railways official has said that the first batch of private trains will start running by 2023, after which 45 such trains will begin operating in the next financial year. The Railways plan to run 12 more private trains in 2022-23. The railway board will start 45 additional trains in the year 2023-24, 50 trains in the year 2025-26, and 44 private trains in the next financial year. In this scenario, a total of 151 trains will be operational by the fiscal year 2026-27. He said that all such 151 trains would begin operating by 2027 as per their predetermined schedule. Railways had invited proposals to run 151 modern passenger trains on 109 paired routes across the country earlier to formally pursue its plan to allow private companies to operate passenger trains on its network.
Routes for Private Trains of Indian Railways
According to Railway Board Chairman V.K Yadav, All private trains will run in 12 clusters. These clusters will be Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Prayagraj, Secunderabad, Howrah and Chennai. The maximum of 13 routes will be from Delhi and Prayagraj cluster. Private trains will run on 13 routes, with Delhi being the capital and Prayagraj being a religious and tourist centre. Railways will operate a total of 151 trains with a different number of routes in each cluster. These are:
- New Delhi Cluster One: 1 to 7 routes
- New Delhi Cluster Two: 2 to 6 routes
- Prayagraj Cluster: 13 routes
- Chandigarh Cluster: 9 routes
- Jaipur Cluster: 9 routes
- Patna Cluster: 10 routes
- Howrah Cluster: 10 routes
- Mumbai Cluster One: 1 to 7 routes
- Mumbai Cluster Two: 2 to 11 routes.
- Chennai Cluster: 12 routes
- Bangalore Cluster: 5 routes
- Secunderabad Cluster: 10 routes
The trains which will run in 12 clusters and different routes of the country are expected to run between these cities. With the private trains running between these cities, the passengers will feel a unique experience while travelling in these modern world-class service provider trains. The expected cities where Railways can run these trains are:
- New Delhi to New Rishikesh
- New Delhi to Indore
- New Delhi to Varanasi
- New Delhi to Darbhanga
- New Delhi to Budgam
- New Delhi to Lucknow
- New Delhi to Sabarmati
- New Delhi to Udaipur
- New Delhi to Patna
- New Delhi to Guwahati
- New Delhi to Barauni
- New Delhi to Kathgodam
- New Delhi to Jodhpur
- New Delhi to Amritsar
- New Delhi to Chandigarh
- Lucknow to Katra
- Amritsar to Faizabad
- Howrah to Anand Vihar
- Howrah to Varanasi
- Gaya to Anand Vihar
- Prayagraj to Mumbai
- Prayagraj to Ahmedabad
- Prayagraj to Puri
- Kanpur to New Delhi
- Gorakhpur to Mumbai
- Jhansi to Mumbai
- Prayagraj to Bangalore
- Ajmer to Mumbai
- Jaipur to Mumbai
- Delhi to Ajmer
- Kota to Ajmer
- Delhi to Bangalore
What Are the Objectives of Running Private Trains in Indian Railways?
- In India, there is a high demand for trains on various railroads across the country. Still, 15% of the passengers in each train are on the waiting list.
- The railway is trying to eliminate the waiting list, but it has not been successful yet.
- Railway wants to improve the quality of services and feels that if there is competition, it can be done easily.
- The objective of this initiative is to run trains with advanced technology, which reduces maintenance and travel time.
- This service will provide employment opportunities for the youth.
- Security will be better, and passengers will get world-class travelling experience.
- Railways are expected to get around 3,000 crore rupees per year from the operations of these 151 trains.
- Trains running at a speed of 130 kilometres per hour will save 10-15 per cent of the travel time and up to 30 per cent on running at a rate of 160 kilometres per hour.
Flight-like Facilities Will Be Available in Private Trains
In private trains, passengers will get a choice of seats, luggage and travel facilities like airline services. Passengers will have to pay more for these facilities separately in addition to the tickets. With the adoption of improved technology by Indian Railways, the maintenance costs can be reduced. Safety will be ensured, and travellers will experience world-class travel. The primary investment is the first step to run passenger trains on the rail network of Indian Railways.
Currently, Indian railways operate three private trains, including Kashi-Mahakal Express on Varanasi-Indore route, Lucknow-New Delhi Tejas Express, and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express.
Private Operators Will Choose the Halts for their Trains
Operators running private trains will have the freedom to select the stations where they want to halt their trains. This information has been given in the document issued by Indian Railways in this regard. Private operators will have to provide a list of the stations to the railway where they want to halt their trains. Guidelines related to private trains have been issued by Indian Railways. The private train operator will also have to tell along with the list of halts at the station falling in the route; at what time the train will arrive at that station and when it will leave. Staying longer at a stop between stations of the fastest trains will not be allowed.
Indian Railways has made strict rules while designing a new business model of private trains operation in India. Private operators will now have to pay the penalty for the delayed or early arrival of trains.
What Are the Rules in the new Business Model?
- If more than 1 per cent of the actual revenue is found with the private firm and is reported, then the private firm will pay ten times the difference in the form of loss to the railways.
- Private operators will have to pay an additional fee for 200 km of train operation if there is an annual reduction of 1 per cent in the 95 per cent time limit. These damages will be 512 rupees per kilometre.
- Railways will use this amount for the improvement of transportation and infrastructure of the trains.
- If the private train arrives on the platform ten minutes earlier, then the company will incur a penalty as haulage charge for 10 km.
- If a train does not show a one per cent restriction due to any reason in a year, then the company will incur a penalty equal to 50 km transportation fee.
- After the cancellation of the train service, the private company will have to pay one-fourth of the transportation fee for that journey to the Railways.
- If the private train reaches delay (up to 2 hours) due to railways, then the company will not face any penalty.
- Apart from this, due to cattle accident, bad weather or any out of control situation on the way of the train, if the train comes to a halt, and gets late, then the company will not be fined.
Coach Position and Speed of Private Trains
- One hundred nine routes of the train have been placed in 12 sections of Rail routes. Each train will have at least 16 coaches. According to the Railways, most of these modern trains will be built under ‘Make in India’ initiative and the private company running it will be responsible for its maintenance, procurement and transportation.
- The design of the trains will be such that they can run at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour. It will reduce travel time significantly. According to the railway, the grace period for the project will be 35 years. The private unit running the trains will pay the transportation charges to the Indian Railways for electricity based on actual consumption.
23 Private Companies Are Interested in Operating Private Trains in India
Private investment is the first initiative to run passenger trains on the railway network in the country. For this, companies will be selected through a two-stage tender process. It has the first phase request for qualification (RFQ) and the second phase request for proposal (RFP).
The government is moving fast in the direction of running private trains in the country. For this, Indian Railways has also held twice meetings with private companies.
The meeting was attended by 23 companies including Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens and GMR and showed interest in running private trains in the country. The meeting was also attended by BEML, IRCTC, BHEL, CAF, Medha Group, Sterlite, Bharat Forge, JKB Infrastructure and Titagarh Wagons Limited. Railways plan to run private trains in 12 clusters.
Railways Are Also Considering for Privatization of Railway Stations
The Narendra Modi government is now planning to equip railway stations with world-class facilities. For this, there is a preparation to hand over the stations to private companies. Passengers will be provided better facilities at these stations, and they will not have to pay more money for that.
Indian Railways will not charge passengers like the airport for world-class public facilities at modern railway stations. Instead, these charges (Railway Passenger User Charges) will be market-based. This information has been given by a senior officer of Indian Railway Station Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC). Due to the charging of users based on the market, passengers at modern railway stations will not have to pay any separate charge nor will it be added to the passenger ticket fare. It will not affect the pocket of the passengers, and they will also get the benefit of the facility of world-class stations.
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