New Delhi: In what is certainly a revolutionary idea, the Indian Railways is working on a proposal to invite private players to run its trains. According to reports, the idea has attracted the attention of private carriers like Indigo and SpiceJet and travel portal Make My Trip.
Besides the three, two giant players in the field of catering, too, have expressed interest in the said model.
According to reports, Indigo and SpiceJet have both queried officials about the likely framework of the railways where the private players have been invited and under which policy framework the private player will carry out the train operations. Enthused with the response, the Railway Ministry is reportedly going ahead with the idea aggressively.
In the coming days, it is expected to finalise the terms and conditions for private players to operate trains in India after which private players will be invited to participate, through a bidding process to run the trains. The interested parties have also been informed that post policy finalisation, a meeting will be held in which they will be told about minute details of the policy. The ministry is said to be working hard so as to attract the biggest and best players from the market, as they believe that the bigger the player, the better will be amenities for the passengers.
The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, which was flagged off recently and is the country’s first private semi high-speed train, too, will be floated through the bidding process.
The ministry has already indicated that in the coming 4-5 years, there will be 150 private trains in the country. These will run on not only routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Howrah but on nine long-haul routes.
Intercity routes like Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Aurangabad, Mumbai-Madgaon, Delhi–Chandigarh/Amritsar, Delhi-Jaipur, Howrah-Puri, Howrah-Tatanagar, Howrah-Patna, Secunderabad-Vijaywada, Chennai-Banglore, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Madurai and Ernakulam-Trivandrum, too, have been identified for operations.