The Indian Railways is looking to invite private players for freight trains in dedicated freight corridors. The Railways is fast-tracking the process of auctioning routes in the dedicated freight corridors.
A Railway regulator is likely to be created before the rollout of private passenger trains in 2023, says Railways Board Chairman VK Yadav. While speaking to a newspaper he said, “Once DFCs are ready, we are planning to bring in private freight operators there. They will invest in wagons and containers. So, the regulator will have two mandates — regulating passenger trains and freight trains.”
The decision for private freight trains was taken by the group of secretaries who weighed all the possible economic outcomes.
It is to be duly noted that there are private container trains that have been operational since 2006 but in a limited way. However, no other type of freight trains has been allowed.
Indian railways earlier this month, invited bids from private companies to run passenger trains on 109 pairs (origin-destination) of routes, seeking an investment of Rs 30,000 crore with a concession period of 35 years. The private firms would be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains.
“The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector,” the Indian Railways said in a statement.