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Press Release - Indian Railways
  • Indian Railways caters to an average originating traffic of 8.29 billion passengers per annum (2017-18). In the year, 2018-19, there was a huge unmet demand in the form of 8.85 crore wait listed passengers. Increased growth in passenger transport requires commissioning of additional trains with enhanced service quality, improved coach technology, and reduced journey time.
  • At present, we are running around 13,000 passenger trains and in the next 5 years, we would require an additional 3,000 to 4,000 trains to meet the demand. We need private train operators to take some burden.
  • Indian Railways will continue to run its all existing trains and will also keep on adding more trains as per its capacity and operational feasibility. The private player operated  trains will run additional trains for the convenience of travelers.
  • Indian Railways has planned to permit private participation in operation of passenger train services over 100 routes by introducing around 150 modern rakes. These 100 routes have been formed into clusters with each cluster of around 12 rakes.
  • These private train operators will be allowed to procure trains and operate & maintain them.
  • The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector. Through this arrangement, IR would be running trains with three to four different technologies.
  • There would be a reduction in journey time by a minimum of 10-15% on the existing maximum operating speed of 130 kmph.

  • IRCTC business of private trains is drawing a very good response and occupancy is likely to increase more as passengers get accustomed to new train timings.
    • Considering that the initiative is first of its kind in Indian Railways, emphasis has been laid on stakeholder consultation, placing the draft bidding framework documents on the public domain. In order to understand the issues and concerns of various stakeholders thereby enabling wider participation in the bidding process, two stakeholder conferences were held. This exercise has been done to understand the issues and concerns of the stakeholders with regard to the project and address the risks through a suitable risk reward framework.
    • The bidding framework for undertaking this initiative shall be in line with the extant guidelines of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India for PPP projects.
    • The bidding documents would specify the key performance indicators to be achieved by the private entity and also the quality of the services to be provided to the passengers. There would be specific penalties for failure to achieve the requisite levels of performance.
    • The project framework would provide sufficient flexibility and freedom to the private entity to innovate, add value thereby reduce the cost of operations and enable providing cost effective services to the passengers.
    • The major trunk routes of Railways are saturated and operate at near full capacity. Indian Railways runs approximately 13,000 passengers carrying trains per day. With massive infrastructure creation works in progress through multitracking of tracks and Dedicated Freight Corridors, significant capacity will be created and Railways will be able to add many more trains in the coming future apart from the 150 trains planned through private operators. 
    • Operation of trains with improved travel comfort to the passengers, increased availability and reliability and reduced transit time require induction of trains with modern technology. This initiative is likely to result in a shift in the passenger travel from road as well as air to Rail and would increase the overall availability of transportation services to the people.
    • This would increase the revenue to Railways in terms of Haulage Charges and share in the revenue of the private entity. The competition and increased options to the public would result in improved quality of service and also improve the economy in operations.
    • The Private Entity shall pay to IR necessary fixed charges (haulage charges including energy charges). Private trains would be run by loco-pilots (engine drivers) and guards from Indian Railways only.
    • The Private Entity shall have the freedom to decide on market determined fare to be charged from its passengers.
    • Private train operations will help Railways to bring the latest global technology and lead to drastic improvement in punctuality and quality of services being offered to passengers.
    • This will provide premium services akin to airlines to the people of the country and create benchmarks and competition in the sector to ensure improved service delivery. There would be many additional customer friendly facilities as compared to normal trains such as:

    1. Airline like on-board services i.e infotainment, high-quality food & beverage with local and ethnic cuisines, shopping etc
    2. Compensation to passengers in case of delay in train operations
    3. Free insurance
    4. Baggage pick up-drop facility etc.

    • With the ongoing capacity creation and enhancement works of Dedicated Freight Corridor, increasing the speed of Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah sectors to 160kmph, there will be availability of additional line capacity to run additional trains to fulfill the unmet demand of passenger services.
    1. The likely commissioning of Dedicated Freight Corridors in 2021 and other infrastructural works have been considered while identifying the routes under the proposed initiative
    • In view of initiation of private train operations,  approval was given by the Ministry of Railways to IRCTC to operate 2 Tejas trains on pilot basis on New Delhi - Lucknow and Mumbai - Ahmedabad sectors.

    * 2 Tejas trains, first on Lucknow – New Delhi route was inaugurated on 4.10.2019 and the second on Ahmedabad - Mumbai route on 17.01.2020. First time ever passenger facilities being provided in the Tejas train are:
         Airline like on-board services i.e infotainment, high-quality food & beverages etc.
         Compensation to passengers in case the train gets delayed
         Rs. 100 in case of a delay of more than an hour
         Rs. 250 in case of a delay exceeding 2 hours
    * 3rd train to be run soon this month by IRCTC on Varanasi - Indore route which will have sleeper berths
    • IRCTC business of private trains is drawing a very good response and occupancy is likely to increase more as passengers get accustomed to new train timings.
    • Considering that the initiative is first of its kind in Indian Railways, emphasis has been laid on stakeholder consultation, placing the draft bidding framework documents on the public domain. In order to understand the issues and concerns of various stakeholders thereby enabling wider participation in the bidding process, two stakeholder conferences were held. This exercise has been done to understand the issues and concerns of the stakeholders with regard to the project and address the risks through a suitable risk reward framework.
    • The bidding framework for undertaking this initiative shall be in line with the extant guidelines of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India for PPP projects.
    • The bidding documents would specify the key performance indicators to be achieved by the private entity and also the quality of the services to be provided to the passengers. There would be specific penalties for failure to achieve the requisite levels of performance.
    • The project framework would provide sufficient flexibility and freedom to the private entity to innovate, add value thereby reduce the cost of operations and enable providing cost effective services to the passengers.
    • The major trunk routes of Railways are saturated and operate at near full capacity. Indian Railways runs approximately 13,000 passengers carrying trains per day. With massive infrastructure creation works in progress through multitracking of tracks and Dedicated Freight Corridors, significant capacity will be created and Railways will be able to add many more trains in the coming future apart from the 150 trains planned through private operators. 
    • Operation of trains with improved travel comfort to the passengers, increased availability and reliability and reduced transit time require induction of trains with modern technology. This initiative is likely to result in a shift in the passenger travel from road as well as air to Rail and would increase the overall availability of transportation services to the people.
    • This would increase the revenue to Railways in terms of Haulage Charges and share in the revenue of the private entity. The competition and increased options to the public would result in improved quality of service and also improve the economy in operations.