Indian Railways identifies 24 important routes where private players can be invited to operate trains

The Indian Railways is mulling the idea of handing over operations of more trains to private players in the coming days on several important routes with improved services and amenities for passengers.

According to DNA, the Indian Railways has identified 24 important routes where private players can be invited to operate trains in the coming years. The decision comes under the 100-day agenda of the national transporter to hand over operations of the trains to private players on key routes.

The routes identified for privatisation, Delhi - Katra/Jammu, Delhi - Howrah, Delhi - Chennai, Delhi - Secunderabad, Mumbai - Chennai, Howrah - Chennai, Howrah - Mumbai and Secunderabad - Hyderabad have been proposed for long haul trains. Railways is also mulling getting private players in suburban train operations. For suburban train operations, Railways has identified Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad. Intercity routes have also been identified which include Mumbai - Pune, Mumbai - Aurangabad, Mumbai - Madgaon, Delhi - Chandigarh/Amritsar, Delhi - Jaipur, Howrah - Puri, Howrah - Tata, Howrah - Patna, Secunderabad - Vijaywada, Chennai - Bengaluru, Chennai - Coimbatore, Chennai - Madurai and Ernakulam - Thiruvananthapuram, reported DNA.

Earlier, the Indian Railways had announced to grant operations of two of its luxurious Tejas Express trains to Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad. The railways had earlier clearly said that before engaging private operators to run the trains, the national transporter will consult the trade unions and other stakeholders.

The IRCTC has started the booking of tickets for the Tejas Express between Lucknow-New Delhi from October 5 onward journey. The IRCTC's Tejas Express will be flagged off from Lucknow on October 4. The minimum fare for the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express has been kept at Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while the fare for Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express AC chair car will be Rs 1,280. On the other hand, the ticket price for Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express Executive chair car has been kept at Rs 2,310 and the Delhi-Lucknow fare for Executive Chair Car will be Rs 2,450.

The passengers travelling on Tejas Express from Lucknow to Kanpur in AC chair car will have to shell out Rs 320 and Rs 630 for the Executive Chair car (ECC). For Lucknow to Ghaziabad travel, the passenger needs to pay Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while Rs 2,310 for the ECC. On the return journey, the fare is Rs 1,155 for AC Chair car from Delhi to Kanpur while for the ECC it is Rs 2,155.

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