Ministry of Railways has clarified that its recently invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination(OD) pairs of routes through introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes), would be for train services over and above the already existing trains. The 151 Trains will be run by Private operators once the selection process is over.
Majority of Trains to be manufactured in India (Make in India). The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains.
Trains shall be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a substantial reduction in journey time. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route.
The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.
The Private Entity shall pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in Gross Revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. The operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to the key performance indicators like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc.
Indian Railways network is about 68,000 route kilometers. In the year 2018-19, the reserved passenger volume was 16% (0.59 billion) of the total originating non- suburban passengers (3.65 billion). Almost 8.85 crore of waitlisted passengers could not be accommodated.
Ministry of Railways felt the requirement to introduce private participation in passenger train operation which will allow introduction of next generation technology and provision of higher service quality, ensuring use of improved coach technology and reduced journey time.
These train services would be operated on the Indian Railway Network where at present both passenger and freight trains are being operated on the common track. The major trunk routes are saturated and operate at near full capacity. However, with planned commissioning of Dedicated Freight Corridors in 2021 and other infrastructural works, there would be availability of additional paths for operation of additional passenger services and it would therefore be possible to run additional services utilizing modern trains proposed in the current initiative.
The private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP). RFQ process will be for pre-qualification and shortlisting of the bidders will be based on their financial capacity, who will be required to offer share in the Gross Revenue at RFP stage (bid parameter) for undertaking the project.