New Delhi: The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is set to be the first train to be operated by private players, sources said. This is one of the 11 proposals prepared by the railways in its 100-day plan. The railways will hand over operations of two of its trains to the private sector.
- The Railway Board is deliberating on a second such route, which also would be within the 500-km distance range.
- However, the Delhi-Lucknow route is one of the trains being considered for private operators, a railway board official said.
- The official said,”A decision will be taken in about a month’s time. The IRCTC is still working out the modalities.”
- The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express was announced in 2016 but was introduced in the new time table released recently.
- The train will be handed over to private players after an open bidding process for operationalisation.
- The custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges, to the financing arm, IRFC.
- A senior official said,”These two trains will be given on an experimental basis and we hope that within the next 100 days, we will be able to run at least one of them. The idea was to identify routes which have low congestion and connect important tourists spots. The second tain too will be identified soon.”
About the proposal
- The IRCTC, which will be given the two trains to run initially, has been asked to finalise a proposal by July 10 and submit it to the Railway Board after a meeting of the Member, Traffic, with officials of the railways’ tourism and the catering arm on July 4.
- The proposal of the Railway Board in its 100-day plan was to offer two trains to operators who would be willing to be part of the bidding process for rights to run private passenger day/overnight train sets connecting important cities.
- It would float a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ) in the next 100 days, the railways also said.