As the Indian Railways opens up for private players in the railway sector through its ‘private train project’, as many as 20 passenger trains meant to be run in private participation, with their origin or destination as Gujarat cities, have been proposed out of the 109 such routes across the country.
As per documents accessed by The Indian Express, the Indian Railways has formed 12 clusters across the country in which private trains will be run on 109 routes. As of now, 20 trains with their origin or destination cities as Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat have been proposed.
The routes of the 20 trains include Ahmedabad-Mumbai (daily), Mumbai-Ahmedabad (daily) Surat-Mumbai (daily), Mumbai-Surat (daily), Vadodara-Mumbai (daily), Mumbai-Vadodara (daily), Surat-Varanasi (Mondays), Varanasi-Surat (Tuesdays) Surat-Patna (Fridays), Patna-Surat (Saturdays), Delhi-Sabarmati (daily), Sabarmati-Delhi (daily), Asansol-Surat (Fridays), Surat-Asansol (Sundays), Prayagraj-Ahmedabad (Mondays and Wednesdays), Ahmedabad-Prayagraj (Tuesdays and Thursdays), Bhopal-Rajkot (Mondays), Rajkot-Bhopal (Tuesdays) Jodhpur-Sabarmati (all days except Saturdays) and Sabarmati-Jodhpur (all days except Saturdays).
The Ministry of Railways has invited Request for Qualifications (RFQs) for private participation in operation of passenger train services in 109 routes identified in 12 clusters. According to a recent report by The Indian Express, 16 private firms partook in a pre-application meet held in New Delhi a few days ago. The private trains will be maintained by the concessionaires in maintenance depots set up by the firms. However, it will be the task of Indian Railways to provide either a green field space or existing depots to concessionaires, which will then be upgraded by them.
As per the scheduled plan, the private trains are expected to run by 2023.
The Indian Railways has also asked its zones to identify originating and destination stations for the proposed trains and decided the timing slot for their arrival before the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage commences.
In a letter addressed to zonal general managers on July 27, A Madhukumar Reddy, principal executive director (coaching) of Railway Board, has asked “to identify suitable originating and destination stations and reserve slots according to the timing and days of operation of the private trains, identify the location of maintenance depot including space or the existing depot and provide the layout duly detailing the infrastructure available and identify slots in washing lines as per the indicative timings and location of washing mentioned for each cluster and provide details of infrastructure available (sic).”
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