Nine pairs of passenger trains with world-class facilities traveling at the lightning speed of 160 km/hour will be run by private players. These trains will operate from the cities of Guwahati, Dibrugarh, and Agartala and will travel to far-off destinations.
The Ministry of Railways has invited request for qualification (RFQ) for private participation for on the routes of Guwahati to Delhi, Banglaore, Kochuvely, Sealdah, Howrah, Darbhanga; Dibrugarh to Pune and Agartala to Karimganj.
“The trains operated by the private players will be an additional benefit for the rail passengers of the region over and above the normal trains. The railway ministry has invited bids for all those routes which fall under Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and we are hopeful that private parties will pick up these routes and the services will start from the first half of 2022,”
The railway ministry has formed more than 109 Origin Destination Pairs into 12 Clusters across the Indian railway network. Each newly refurbished train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches.
The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crores. This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian railways’ network. The majority of the trains are to be manufactured in India (Make in India). The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation, and maintenance of the trains.
Trains shall be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a substantial reduction in journey time. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or be faster than the fastest trains of Indian Railways operating in the respective routes.
The objective of this initiative is 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 the demand-supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector, according to Railways.
The concession period for the project shall be 35 years. The private entity shall pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption, and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process.
These trains shall be operated by the drivers and guards of Indian Railways.