The first set of 12 private trains will be introduced in 2023, followed by 45 more in the next fiscal, according to an initial timeline drawn by the railways, as reported by PTI citing senior officials. The plan is to roll out all 151 such train services by 2027, it said.
Earlier this month, the railways invited proposals from private entities to run 151 modern passenger trains on 109 pairs of routes across the country.
The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.
As part of the plan for allowing private players to operate in its network, the railways has planned to introduce 12 trains in 2022-23, 45 in 2023-2024, 50 in 2025-26 and 44 more in the next fiscal, taking the total number of trains to 151 by the end of the financial year 2026-2027. The request for qualification (RFQ), which was floated on 8 July, is likely to be finalised by November, the financial bids will be opened by March 2021 and selection of bidders is planned by April 2021, according to a timeline for the introduction of private passenger trains prepared by the railways, as reported by PTI.
Bidders quoting the highest share in gross revenue shall be awarded the project, officials said.
The private player will pay the railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. The railways are expected to receive total haulage charges of around Rs 3,000 crore per annum from the operation of these 151 trains, they said. These trains shall be operated by the driver and guard of Indian Railways.