Global players line up for running private trains: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 31, 2020

File photo   -  PTI

The Centre's attempt to attract private players into India's railway network seems to be bearing fruit, with global companies, including Alstom Transport, Bombardier, Siemens AG, and Macquarie expressing interest in running private trains in India, according to a report by the Livemint.

The government intends to renovate the Indian Railways and inviting private players is a preliminary step towards upgrading the infrastructure, the report added. The Centre is likely to plan the bidding process post-Budget 2020.

150 trains

As many as 150 modern trains will be run by private operators on 100 routes. The trains are expected to offer world-class service to passengers.

According to a government official cited in the Livemint report, numerous companies have shown willingness to invest in Indian Railways, including India’s homegrown companies such as Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) and KEC International Ltd, among others.

The Railways currently runs 1,300 passenger trains. However, a total of 20,000 trains will be needed to meet the ever-growing passenger demand, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar told the media recently.

While the infrastructure, operations, maintenance, and safety will be looked after by the government, private operators will step in to provide better on-board experience and services to passengers. They will extend their services in food, boarding experience, comfort, and entertainment, the Livemint report added.

In October 2019, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off the country’s first private train --  Tejas Express, run by its subsidiary IRCTC, on the Lucknow-New Delhi route.

Published on January 31, 2020

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