First private train by 2023

#GS3 #Railways #Infrastructure 

India will see its first privately operated train running by April 2023 and the bidding process for this will be completed by April 2021.

Details

  • The national transporter had invited requests for qualifications (RFQ) from private players recently to operate 151 trains covering 109 routes that might see investments of Rs 30,000 crore.
  • These trains will be operated on a revenue neutral model.
  • A big challenge before the Indian Railways will be the speed limit of 160 km per hour (kmph) set for these trains, because at present there is only one section that is fit to run trains at that speed. This year, the maximum speed limit on the Delhi-mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes was increased from 110 kmph to 130 kmph.
  • The Railways indicated that the plan to rope in private players came after an estimate showed that passenger traffic is expected to grow 55 per cent by 2030. In 2019, the Railways saw 8.4 billion passengers, which is expected to climb to 13 billion by 2030 and 18 billion by 2040.
  • Over 95 per cent of the trains will still be operated by the Indian Railways and only 5 per cent will come under public-private partnership mode.

Advantage

  • It creates an environment for enhanced service quality and user experience for the passengers.
  • Indian Railways doesn’t have to suffer the losses associated with running these trains thanks to under-recovery of cost due to low fares and its own hefty overheads.
  • Indian Railways doesn’t have to suffer the losses associated with running these trains thanks to under-recovery of cost due to low fares and its own hefty overheads.
  • The government wants private players and maybe also its own PSU, along with Indian Railways, to share the load of pumping in more trains into the system.
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