Explaining its Public-private partnership to allow private players to develop in 109 trains, Railways on Monday, issued a project information memorandum of its first proposed project. The proposed project which involves private trains to operate in Mumbai (Cluster-1) will go through a two-stage competitive bidding process between interested parties, based on the share offered in the Gross revenue of the project. While Railways have divided twelve such cluster project, each cluster will contain trains.
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Factors mandated by Railways for pvt trains
- Duration of journey: The running time taken by a train from originating station to destination station shall be comparable to the fastest train of Railways operating in the same route. No new similar scheduled train will depart the originating station in the same route within 60 minutes
- Length of Train: Each train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches and a maximum not exceeding the longest passenger train in the route
- Configuration of trains: To be decided as per party based on demand
- Operation and Maintenance: Governed by standards & specifications and requirements given in Concession. While Railways will allow usage of its maintenance depots, private parties will have to provide for manpower, tools and plants as required. The scheduled maintenance of the trains shall not be before 31 days or a travel of 40,000 kms of such previous scheduled maintenance, whichever is later.
- The Crew (Driver and Guard) required for operation of the Trains shall be provided by Railways but will have to be trained by private parties
- Safety Certification: Shall be done by Railways based on its own safety parameters
- Concession Period: Will be for a period of 35 years commencing from the Appointed Date
- Maximum Speed: Trains to be designed to operate at maximum speed of 160 kmph
- Determination of Fare: The Private Entity shall have the freedom to decide on the fare to be charged from its passengers.
- Ticketing: The private entity shall use the existing Indian Railway Passenger Reservation System for booking of tickets.
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Apart from the above conditions, private companies have to pay Railways pre-determined charges for haulage, charges for energy consumed and penalties for non-performance. Moreover, the private company shall be free to procure trains and locomotives from a source of its choice complying with Railways' standards. However, the Concession Agreement would include provisions relating to mandatory sourcing via domestic production in India over a period of time.
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On July 2, Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav announced that private train operations are likely to begin by April 2023, all coaches will be procured under Make in India policy. He said that train sets have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them and if any performance indicators are not met by private players in passenger train operations they will be penalised. Moreover, he added that private participation in passenger train operations will only be 5 per cent of the total operations of Railways and will result in a quantum jump in technology, higher speeds.
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