In an ambitious programme to modernise and revolutionise the railway operations, the Indian Railways has decided to run as many as 150 private trains by 2023-24, according to Indian Railway Board’s chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.
Speaking to the Economic Times, Vinod Kumar Yadav shared his ambitious plan regarding the running of private trains on national railway lines. Yadav also added that that the first pilot train will begin to operate on the network from the upcoming 4 October.
The train will be a Tejas Express which will be operated by IRCTC on a pilot basis. IRCTC has also been given another Tejas Express, whose schedule is still to come out.
Yadav said that the pilot runs are an experiment before allowing pure private operators to run trains on national networks. The IRCTC has already announced value additions such as Rs.25 lakh insurance on every ticket, wheelchairs, home pick-up and delivery of luggage, which are usually not found on trains running currently.
The New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will be the first train of Indian Railways that will be fully run by its subsidiary IRCTC. The train will cover the 550 km distance between Lucknow and Delhi in six hours and 15 minutes.
These private trains, according to Yadav, will start operation by 2023-24 on the Indian rail network, which will bring better and newer train sets from foreign nations or even purchase or lease the train sets from Indian Railways and its coach making factories. This would bring in newer technologies, said Yadav.
Yadav also claimed that the two Dedicated Freight Corridors, eastern and western, set to be completed by 2021. He added that the permissible maximum speed for freight trains is currently at 60 kmph and will be enhanced to 100 kmph after the completion of DFCs. This would mean that 90% of freight traffic on these routes will shift to DFCs, said Yadav.
The Indian Railways will be able to run trains on time and also increase their speeds up to 160 kmph and also would allow the railways to introduce trains on demand, making waiting lists a thing of the past, added Yadav. He also added that there is a huge demand for Indian-made rolling stocks from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Australia has also shown interest and imported some coaches, said Indian Railway Board’s chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.