Railways Set To Float RFQ for 150 Private Trains by Month End

Tender documents for private train operations has been firmed up by Indian Railways and it is expected to float the request for qualification (RFQ) for the Rs 22,500 crore private train operation proposal by the month-end seeking private players to operate 150 trains for passengers on 100 routes.

According to the bidding documents, private players will have to pay Rs 668 per km as haulage charge besides sharing a portion of revenue collections for the particular train operation.

The revenue-sharing model will include total earning from ticket sales as well as other non-fare collection like advertising on trains and the bidders must part a portion of it to railways.

The revenue sharing clause holds the key as the bidders will be selected based on the lowest quotation from them.

In order to provide a level-playing field, there will be a regulator to look into pricing and other issues involving the private train operator.

The RFQ has also specified that no passenger train will be allowed 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the departure of the privately-operated train on the same originating route.

Till now, the national transporter has a complete monopoly in the passenger segment though some tourist trains are being run privately in a limited way.

The maiden attempt by the national transporter has evinced keen interest among top companies in infrastructure and transportation sectors including Tata and Adani group.

While global players from Spain, France, Germany, the xUS, Japan, Korea and also China among others have shown interest in the private train operation, leading Indian companies are also shown interest in the race.