As part of its 100-day action plan, the national transporter Indian Railways has gone one step ahead with the eventual introduction of 'privately-run' trains in its network. The behemoth has given a go-ahead to its e-ticketing and catering arm, IRCTC, to solely run its trains on two of the routes i.e. Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai.
Under the Indian Railways' latest plan, IRCTC will be given the custody of two of the Tejas Express rakes running between Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai. The Tejas Express trains to run between these two routes will have a distinct fare structure, a senior railway official told a leading business daily. "IRCTC has been given the freedom to decide the fare structure of the new Tejas Express trains between Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai", adds the official mentioned before. Also, IRCTC at its discretion may disallow some of the concessions available to railway passengers.
All about new IRCTC-run Tejas Express trains
In the case of Tejas Express, on-board catering and ticketing staff will be appointed based on the tender that the company will float for on-board services and the firm which wins the contract will serve the passengers of the new train. "Only the loco pilots and guards etc will belong to Indian Railways", told the official to the leading daily. It is to worth mentioning here that for the custody of the two Tejas Express rakes, IRCTC will pay an annual lease amount to Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC).
Other information on Delhi-Lucknow and Ahmedabad- Mumbai Tejas Express
It is envisaged that the world-class train will enable the Railways arm, IRCTC, to make non-fare earnings through advertisements. "One of things IRCTC is hoping to offer is the train exterior covering of the train with vinyl wrapping. Plans are being worked out to understand the revenue potential. On the basis of that, IRCTC will decide the fares of the Tejas Express trains will be decided. If the advertisers are willing to pay a handsome amount, then Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express may be kept lower," said the official cited above in the report.
Also, basis the customer's feedback, Tejas Express plying between the aforesaid two routes that will be privately run by IRCTC will be time and again upgraded to meet the traveller's needs.
Delhi- Lucknow Tejas Express service operationalization and timings
Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is expected to start its service as early as September end. And as per the new Indian Railways' time table, the train will run on all days except Thursday and Sunday. Timings for the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express is 6:50 am in the morning and its scheduled arrival time at Delhi is 1:35 pm. On the same days, Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will leave at 3:35 PM to reach Lucknow at 10:05 PM.
Interestingly, in terms of priority clearance, services of IRCTC-run Tejas Express will be treated similar to Shatabdi Express.