Railways en route privatisation, identifying routes

New Delhi: En route privatisation, the Railways has asked its different zones to identify routes in the network for the introduction of privately-opened passenger trains. In a letter dated September 23, the Railway Board has given an indicative list to all the zones, asking them to identify those that are potentially-viable and operationally-feasible. A total of 24 routes are mentioned on the list and includes intercity, long-distance and suburban routes.

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The routes need to be identified by Friday, when a meeting will be held with the Member Traffic on the issue. The Railway Board has said in the note that private operators would be identified through a participative bid process to run private passenger day/overnight trains that would connect important cities.

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The backdrop

The news comes shortly after the Railways notified that the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will be operational from October 5. This is the first train that will be fully run by the Railways’ subsidiary, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation). This is the national transporter’s first step towards privatising operations of some trains.

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