Railways to invite bids from cos interested in running trains

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2019

File photo   -  THE HINDU

Indian Railways may soon issue a request for qualification to evaluate non-railway operators who can run passenger trains.

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said this while speaking at a conference organised by Messe Frankfurt. He said that the Railways is considering the possibility of issuing a request for proposal soon for companies interested to run trains.

To begin with, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been asked to run two trains — one between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and another between Delhi and Lucknow.

IRCTC, in turn, will pay lease charges and haulage charges (or freight charges for using infrastructure) to the Indian Railways.

The interested train operators will be allowed to market the trains, fix their own fares, check tickets and cater to passengers.

As the public transport behemoth expands fast, it is also facing shortage of signalling cable, Yadav added. In this context, foreign companies could participate in the Indian Railways’ growth story, he added.

Modernising signals

Earlier, Rajesh Agrawal, Member-Rolling Stock, Indian Railways, said that the country will try to migrate to a common Indian standard for rolling stock so that it does not end up with trains that follow multiple standards within the same city.

The Railways has set a target to produce 8,000 coaches this year against 6,000 coaches produced last year, he said.

Adding that the Railways is increasingly using cleaner technology, Agrawal said that it is looking at running factories using energy generated from wind and solar power only.

Published on August 29, 2019

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