23 players show interest for running private trains in India, attend 2nd pre-application meeting

Ministry of Railways has invited 12 Request for Qualification from private players to run passenger trains on 109 important routes.

23 players show interest for running private trains in India, attend 2nd pre-application meeting

New Delhi: As many as 23 firms have shown interest for running private trains in India as they attended the second pre-application meeting. Indian Railways on Wednesday (August 12) held the second pre-bid meeting on private player train project.

The companies that attended the meeting on running private trains in 12 clusters included Medha, Sterlite Power, Bharat Forge, GMR Infrastructure Ltd, I-Board India Pvt Ltd, CAF India Pvt Ltd, ITCTC Limited, BHEL, ALSTOM Transport India Ltd, Hind Rectifiers Limited, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd, JKB Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, Bombardier Transportation India, Titagarh Wagons Limited, Gateway Rail, Jasan Infra Pvt Ltd, RK Associates and Hoteliers Pvt Ltd, PSGG Technologies Pvt Ltd, BEML, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited, L&T infrastructure Development Projects Limited, ISQ Asia Infrastructure Investments PTE Ltd and Seimens Limited.

The meeting was held virtually. Railway Board Members, railway officials along with NITI Ayog official answered the queries raised by the private players during the pre-bid meeting. The next important date is September 8.

Ministry of Railways has invited 12 Request for Qualification (RFQ) from private players to run passenger trains on 109 important routes through introduction of 151 modern trains (rakes). These new trains will be over and above the existing ones operated on the network.

This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains on the Railways network. The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

The private entities for undertaking the project will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP).

The Ministry aims to complete the bidding process soon, and start running the first private player train by March 2023.  As per the timelines given by Railways, the due date for submitting request for qualification (RFQ) is September 8, 2020.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has already made it clear that private player train is not a privatization of Indian Railways.  Notably, the government has been claiming that rail passengers will be the biggest beneficiaries of the private player train project.