Hyderabad: Private trains, which are set to bring a major change in train operations, got a big boost with several firms coming forward to operate these trains from the city to different parts of the country.
According to the South Central Railway (SCR), 10 firms have evinced interest in private train operations from the Secunderabad cluster. In all, 120 applications were received from 15 applicant firms, including Public Sector Units, for the 12 clusters, for private operations across the country.
The 15 firms include Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited, BHEL, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited and GMR Highways Limited.
The Railways has finalised 11 routes from the zone on which private trains will be operated. These include Lingampalli–Tirupati daily, Cherlapalli– Chennai daily, Lingampalli–Guntur daily, Secunderabad–Guwahati biweekly, Cherlapalli–Varanasi weekly and Cherlapalli–Panvel weekly.
The Railways has also plans for operating Tejus, a semi-high speed train on the Lingampalli route. It features modern onboard facilities on the lines of Rajdhani Express, Gatimaan Express, Shatabdi Express and Duronto Express.
“The private firms will be selected through a transparent two-stage competitive bidding process,” an official said, adding that the process was being expedited and all the clusters would be awarded by next February.
What are private trains?
Private firms will oversee onboard activities such as ticket charges, facilities for passengers and maintenance of coaches while Railways will look after crew and safety measures.
There will be Wi-Fi, modern coaches and seating, clean washrooms and good food. As part of operations, engines will be hired from the Railways while private firms will have the freedom of keeping their own coaches.
“Railways will get haulage charges on a per-km basis from private players for using our infrastructure in operating trains, tracks, signaling and related manpower. Coaches can be hired from Railways or manufactured/procured abroad,” an official said.
Stoppages at stations and number of stops will be the firm’s choice, officials said, adding that the speed of private trains would be higher than regular ones.
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