The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is slated to launch the country’s first private player-operated Tejas Express train along the Delhi-Lucknow route in the first week of October. This will be the starting of a new chapter in the Indian Railways, as private players-operated trains are likely to be launched along as many as 24 routes in the country.
The same is being envisaged as part of 100-day action plan of the Ministry of Railways. A statement released by the ministry says that with this move, the Indian Railways aims to provide “world class services” to its passengers.
“It is contemplated that the private operators shall induct modern passenger trains and operate them on paths allocated to them on payment of haulage charges. They will have the right to determine and collect fares in terms of a concession agreement being formulated for this purpose,” reads the statement released by the ministry.
The private players will be allowed to operate day as well as overnight trains connecting important cities. Another meeting has been convened on September 27 for further discussions on the issue.
The ministry has released a list of probable routes for private train operators, which includes intercity, overnight, long distance and suburban train services.
The routes identified for long distance and overnight operations are – Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Jammu/Katra, Delhi-Howrah, Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Secunderabad-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai, Mumbai-Chennai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai.
The intercity routes identified are – Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Aurangabad, Mumbai-Madgaon, Delhi-Chandigarh/Amritsar, Delhi-Jaipur/Ajmer, Howrah-Puri, Howrah-Tatanagar, Howrah-Patna, Secunderabad-Vijaywada, Chennai-Bengaluru, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Madurai and Ernakulam-Trivandrum.
Apart from these, the Indian Railways also plans to induct private operators to run suburban train services in major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad.
The development comes just days before the launch of country’s first private player-operated Tejas Express on the Delhi-Lucknow route, which is slated to commence on October 5.
The Tejas Express will have one executive AC chair car and nine AC chair car coaches and it will halt at Kanpur and Ghaziabad stations enroute in both the directions. According to railway officials, over 2,000 passengers have booked tickets for the journey from Lucknow to New Delhi and back within two days of opening of counters on Saturday (September 21).