Ministry of Railways has invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination (OD) pairs of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes). The 109 OD Pairs have been formed into 12 Clusters across the Indian Railway network. Each Train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches, the Ministry said.
In a statement issued by the Ministry, Railways said the project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore. This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over Indian Railways network.
Majority of trains to be manufactured in India which is a part of Make in India project. The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains, it added.
Railways said that the 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 faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route.
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 demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.
The Ministry said that the Concession Period for the project shall be 35 years adding that 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. Railways also said that these trains shall be operated by the Driver and Guard of Indian Railways and the operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to the key performance indicates like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc.
Moreover, operation and maintenance of the passenger trains would be governed by standards & specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways.