Railways decides to privatise 150 trains, 50 railway stations
New Delhi, Oct 10: Indian Railways has initiated the process of privatising operations of 150 trains and 50 railway stations and is forming a task force to complete the process in a "time-bound" manner.
"As you are already aware that the ministry of railways has also decided to bring in private train operators for passenger train operations and is contemplating to take up 150 trains in the first phase," Niti Aayog chief Amitabh Kant stated in a letter to Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.
"I had a detailed discussion with the Minister of Railways wherein it was decided that there is a necessity to take up the matter on priority for at least 50 stations. Considering the recent experience in privatisation of six airports a similar process for setting up an empowered group of secretaries to drive the process in a time bound manner," he said.
"As you are already aware that the ministry of railways has also decided to bring in private train operators for passenger train operations and is contemplating to take up 150 trains in the first phase," Kant said.
He also said Member, Engineering Railway Board and Member, Traffic Railway Board must be involved in the empowered group.
Operated by IRCTC, the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express earlier became the Indian Railways first privately run train having been flagged off on 4 October.
The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is an all air-conditioned chair car service - a more premium and luxurious version of the Shatabdi Express. Some of the prominent passenger-friendly features of Tejas Express are; personalised infotainment screens, attendant call buttons, personalised reading lights, foot-rest in Executive class, modular bio-toilets, automatic sliding doors for entry/exit.