IRCTC Latest News: With the objective to provide better trains with better technology, the Indian Railways on Thursday said that it will start private train operations in the country by April 2023. Also Read - Private Trains Must Have Sliding Doors, Will Pay Railways if Trains Are Delayed or Early: Read Draft

“Our target is that the private trains start running by April 2023. A mechanism will be set up to monitor the performance of the private trains,” he said. Also Read - All Regular Passenger And Suburban Train Services to Stay Suspended, Says Centre

Addressing a press conference online, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said the ticket fares in these trains will be competitive with airfares on similar routes. Also Read - Railways to Save 10-15% Per Annum by Procuring Via GeM, Says Piyush Goyal

“The fares in the private trains will be competitive as the prices on other modes of transport like airlines, buses have to be kept in mind,” he added.

Yadav further added that the private players in passenger train operations will mean a quantum jump in technology and coaches that run at higher speeds.

He said that 5% is being offered to private operators under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), 95% trains will be run by Indian Railways.

“Majority of trains will be manufactured in India. Private train operators will fix fare keeping in mind fares of airlines and AC buses,” he added.

He also added that the improvement in technology will also mean that the coaches that now require maintenance after running 4,000 km, will need maintenance after every 40,000-km, that is either once or twice a month.

The development comes as the Railways on Wednesday kickstarted its plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains on its network by inviting request for qualifications (RFQ) for participation on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains.

He also added that if any performance indicators are not met by private players in passenger train operations they will be penalised.