New Delhi: The Lucknow Junction- New Delhi Tejas Express (12585) will be the first train in the country to be operated by private players. The Railway Board is deliberating on a second such route, which too would be within the 500-km range.
The Railways, despite protests from its unions, is going ahead with its 100-day agenda of handing over operations of two of its trains to the private sector.
The Tejas Express will depart from Lucknow Junction at 6.50 a.m. and reach New Delhi at 1.35 p.m. On the outward journey, the train (Tejas Express/ 12586) will depart from New Delhi at 3.35 p.m. and arrive at Lucknow Junction at 10.05 p.m.
The train will run on all days of the week except Sunday and Thursday.
It is currently parked at Anand Vihar Railway station and will be handed over to private players after an open-bidding process for operating it.
The custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges, to the financing arm, IRFC.
A railway official said, “These two trains will be given on an experimental basis and will start running within 100 days. We have been trying to identify routes that have high congestion and connect important tourist spots. The route for the second train will also be identified soon.”
The Tejas Express will offer premium services and comforts to the passengers. The train will have aircraft-like personalised LCD entertainment-cum-information screens, on-board Wi- Fi facility, comfortable seats, mobile charging points, personalised reading lights, modular bio-toilets and sensor tap fittings.