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Identify infra, slots, stations for private trains before pre-bid meet, Railways tells zones

The Railways wants to finalise details such as new locations for maintenance depots for private trains, station names, etc., by 7 August, which is when the next meet is scheduled.

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New Delhi: Ahead of the second pre-bid meet with private players interested in running trains in India, the Railway Board has asked the Zonal Railways to immediately identify infrastructure, stations, slots and location of maintenance depots in their areas for the operation of 151 trains.

In a letter to the general managers of all the Zonal Railways dated 27 July, the Railway Board said the government has invited Request for Qualification (RFQ) for private participation in operation of passenger train services over 109 routes formed in 12 clusters across the Indian Railways network. ThePrint has accessed the letter.

“The originating and destination stations for most of routes have been indicated in broader terms like Mumbai Area which needs to be finalised before RFP (Request for Proposal) stage,” the board said. “Accordingly, Zonal Railways are advised to indicate station names for all such routes.”

Further, the Railways instructed the zonal departments to either identify new locations for maintenance depots or spaces in existing depots for private trains.

“The trains shall be maintained by the Concessionaire in Maintenance Depot to be set up by the Concessionaire. In this regard, IR has to provide to the Concessionaire either green field space for setting up a new depot or space in the existing depot which can be upgraded by the Concessionaire to maintain the trains,” it said.

“Provision of road and rail connectivity to these maintenance depots shall be the responsibility of the zonal railways.”

Lastly, the Railways said that the private trains would require two-hour slots in existing washing lines of Railways for washing, clearing and inspection of trains after every 7,000 km of running.

These lines would need to be electrified so that the train can be placed and removed from washing line without any use of shunting engine, it said, asking the zones to identify slots.

Also read: Railway Board to now have a special cell to attract more investment, increase FDI inflow

The bidding process

The Railways has asked the GMs to furnish this information by 7 August, which is when the next pre-bid meeting of the Railways with interested private players is scheduled.

The last pre-bid meeting was held last week, and was attended by GMR, Sterlite, Bombardier, Janson, I-Squared Capital, among others.

Taking the first step in divesting its near-total monopoly in the Railways, the Narendra Modi government earlier this month invited private players’ RFQ for the operation of passenger train services on 109 Origin Destination pairs of routes through the introduction of 151 modern trains.

The Railways had picked about 100 routes to run 150 private passenger trains in December last year.

Also read: Rail Board chief counters ICF on Vande Bharat deadline, says 44 trains will roll out in 2-3 yrs


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