Railways Reveal Plans For 151 Private Trains In 12 ‘Clusters’; Rs 30,000 Cr Investment Expected

Indian Railways is looking at an investment of about $7.5 bill, with $4 bill (expected) from private investors.
Indian Railways is looking at an investment of about $7.5 bill, with $4 bill (expected) from private investors.

There has been a lot of conundrum in terms of privatisation of Indian Railways.

In a joint press meet with Railway Board chairman VK Yadav and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, major news have surfaced regarding details on timelines and implementation of ‘part-privatisation’ of Indian Railways.

Let’s learn all about it.

Indian Railways to Seek About $7.5 Billion from Private Investors

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant provided all the information about the two major initiatives for which Railways is seeking private investment.

  • Passenger trains will be run by private operators on the Railways’ existing networks, and
  • Revamp and redevelopment of railways stations all around the country.

Kant addressed the meeting by stating that Indian Railways is not getting privatised. This is a part-privatisation and he strongly states that this feat will result in a win-win situation, not only for private players and Indian Railways but also the end users.

The aforementioned two initiatives/projects are anticipated to flood in investments worth $7.5 billion, in the next 5 years.

Of this sum, Railways is looking forward to attract $4 billion from private investors.

“Inclusion of Private Payers in Railways will be a Win-Win Situation for Everyone”: Kant

AMitabh Kant feels that the Indian railway network is in dire need of inducting private operators.

He believes that competition arising from part-privatisation shall promote efficiency, which could result in lower fares for passengers and freight networks.

“Railways, highways and airports are drivers of growth and this is the right time for these measures to counter the COVID-19 setback. We are not privatising Indian Railways. This is a public-private partnership.

Private entities will source and operate trains using the Indian Railways infrastructure. This is a win-win situation for the private sector and Indian Railways. 

We want railways to be the major driver of India’s growth story.”, addressed Kant.

Responsibilities of Private Players and Railways

Private Players

  • Finance, design, procurement, maintenance, operation of trains
  • Setup/upgrading the depots for train maintenance
  • Ensuring Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like punctuality and reliability of trains
  • Procuring trains through domestic production, in a gradual & proper manner. Not more than 3 trains shall be imported.

Indian Railways Responsibilities

  • Access to track and other fixed infrastructure
  • Accessing depot site and washing lines
  • Prioritising premium trains of Indian Railways
  • Locate pilots and guards

12 Independent Railways Cluster Available for Investment

There have been 12 independent clusters identified by the Indian Railways.

These clusters have 109 origin-destination routes, on which private players are expected to operate about 151 passenger trains.

These 12 independent clusters available for investment are:

  • Bangalore
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Delhi 1
  • Delhi 2
  • Howrah
  • Jaipur
  • Mumbai 1
  • Mumbai2
  • Patna
  • Prayagraj
  • Secunderabad

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