Big names of global transport evince interest in running private trains

New Delhi: Global infra biggies like Hyundai, Hitachi, Mitsui, Bombardier, Mitsui, Alstom, Macquarie and Siemens are among the companies that have expressed interest in running private trains as per the policy formulated by the Railways.

The companies who have evinced interest in the private trains include Japanese names like Hitachi India, Mitsui & Co. and other global names like Hyundai Rotem, Bombardier Transportation, Alstom Transport, Siemens, Macquarie, CAF India, CRRC ZELC, GATX among others.

The Indian companies include Tata Realty, Adani Ports, Bharat Forge, KEC International, Essel Group, PSUs like IRCTC and BEML.

The Group of Secretaries for this projected was constituted in October 2019 and wide stakeholder consultations were conducted.

The in-principle approval of PPPAC has been received and 12 RFQs issued on July 1, one for each cluster. The RFQ applicants to be shortlisted for submitting financial bid which is expected in 6-8 months.

This will cover 5 per cent of existing 2800 Mail/ Express Rakes over Railways. The concession period is 35 years and the concessionaire to pay fixed haulage charges for the path, stations, access to railway infrastructure and charges for electricity consumed.

The concessionaire will share revenue with Indian Railways through competitive bidding. The private entity will ensure 95% punctuality, not more than one failure per lakh kilometre of travel and ensure a high level of cleanliness.

The majority of trains will be manufactured in India and trains to be operated by driver and guard of Railways. Tests and trials to validate rolling stock operation will be done by RDSO.

The PPP in passenger train operations envisages induction of modern technology and reduced maintenance intervention of 40,000 km, reduced
transit time, enhanced safety, world-class travel experience to passengers, reduce the demand-supply deficit in the passenger transport sector and bring private investment in rail sector of Rs 30,000 crore.

Railways have invited request for qualifications for private participation for passenger train operations on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains.

The private train operations are likely to begin by April 2023 and all coaches will be procured under Make in India policy. The Railway Board said that the train sets have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them. Fares in private trains will be competitive and prices on other modes of transport like airlines, buses have to be kept in mind while fixing the fares.

The private trains will operate in 12 clusters, including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Prayagraj, Secunderabad, Howrah and Chennai.

Financial bids for private trains by are expected by February or March and finalisation by April 2021 and Request For Quotation (ROQ) bids will be done by September.

(Inputs from IANS)

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