Indian Railways Junction

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Private Train Operations: Indian Railways Enters Crucial Stage Of Ambitious Project

by Arun Kumar Das - Jun 12, 2020, 11:17 am
1592015866658.png

Indian Railways in privatisation push. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/GettyImages)

Snapshot :
  • Indian Railways’ ambitious private train project is on track with the transporter set to float request for quotation for projects worth Rs 22,500 crore.

With boiler rooms of the economy sputtering back to life, Indian Railways has set the most ambitious initiative — private train operation — in motion to float the request for quotation (RFQ) for Rs 22,500 crore worth rail projects after the Empowered Group of Secretaries met this week.

The crucial meeting, attended by expenditure secretary, a NITI Aayog member, Railway Board chairman, financial commissioner, member (traffic) and member (engineering) looked at the way forward for the bold move of handing over 100 originating destinations in the rail network to private players.

After the meeting, the ball has been set rolling to firm up the tender documents before inviting interested players to join the race.

All clauses of the RFQ are being examined threadbare by senior railway officials involved in the project to make some last minute changes, if required, said a senior official aware of the development.

The haulage charge, bone of contention in the RFQ, has been fixed at Rs 512 per km while energy cost to be paid separately by the private players.
Haulage charge was earlier Rs 950, which was reduced to Rs 668, and now finally fixed at Rs 512 after two pre-bid conferences.

Besides, the issues of infrastructure maintenance cost are also being discussed, that is whether to include signalling, track maintenance, terminal cost, transportation and overheads in the haulage or not.

This is because private train operators have maintained that common facilities such as waiting hall, platform, station building, track, signalling and telecom among others are not exclusively for private trains.

The project envisages private operators to take over about 150 trains on lease from railways to run on 100 routes connecting all major cities.

Private train operators are expected to procure trains from railways on lease to begin with and later they would have their own. All operators are in favour of bringing their own customised trains from the market in the long run.

There are provisions in the RFQ which have specified that no passenger train will be allowed 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the departure of the privately-operated train on the same originating route.

There was not much action on the private train operation project in the last two months as the railways was busy transporting stranded passengers and delivering essential commodities across the country on a priority basis amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

Since the lockdown has been relaxed, all production units and workshops of the public transporter have started functioning in a graded manner.

Besides, the railways has started running 230 passenger trains to various destinations with more mail and express train services expected to commence in phases shortly.

Hundred routes are being selected based on passenger demand. Those routes which have the maximum waiting list are offered in the bid. Mumbai, Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Guwahati, Chennai and Secunderabad are major clusters for which the players are keen to run 16-coach trains.

Some of the identified routes such as Panvel-Manduadih, Panvel-Kanpur, Indore-Okhla, Bandra-Akola, Jogeshwari-Tilak Bridge, Allahabad-Pune, Patna-Hadapsar, Gorakhpur-Jogeshwari, Kanpur-Bandra, Parel-Kolhapur, Parel-Shirdi are in Mumbai clusters.

New Delhi-New Rishikesh, Faizabad-Bhatinda, Lucknow-Jammu, Chennai-Okhla, Bijwasan-Sabarmati, Tilak Bridge-Gomtinagar, Chandigarh-Sultanpur, Jaipur-Udhampur, Ambala-Allahabad are in Delhi cluster.

New Delhi-Central Mumbai, Howrah-Chennai, Howrah-Anand Vihar are some routes expected to be also in demand.

Until now, the national transporter has complete monopoly over the passenger segment though some tourist trains are being run privately in a limited way.

The maiden attempt by the state-run transporter has evinced keen interest among top companies in infrastructure and transportation sectors, including Tata and Adani groups.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

 

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Private Train Operations: Indian Railways Enters Crucial Stage Of Ambitious Project

by Arun Kumar Das - Jun 12, 2020, 11:17 am
View attachment 16434
Indian Railways in privatisation push. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/GettyImages)

Snapshot :
  • Indian Railways’ ambitious private train project is on track with the transporter set to float request for quotation for projects worth Rs 22,500 crore.

With boiler rooms of the economy sputtering back to life, Indian Railways has set the most ambitious initiative — private train operation — in motion to float the request for quotation (RFQ) for Rs 22,500 crore worth rail projects after the Empowered Group of Secretaries met this week.

The crucial meeting, attended by expenditure secretary, a NITI Aayog member, Railway Board chairman, financial commissioner, member (traffic) and member (engineering) looked at the way forward for the bold move of handing over 100 originating destinations in the rail network to private players.

After the meeting, the ball has been set rolling to firm up the tender documents before inviting interested players to join the race.

All clauses of the RFQ are being examined threadbare by senior railway officials involved in the project to make some last minute changes, if required, said a senior official aware of the development.

The haulage charge, bone of contention in the RFQ, has been fixed at Rs 512 per km while energy cost to be paid separately by the private players.
Haulage charge was earlier Rs 950, which was reduced to Rs 668, and now finally fixed at Rs 512 after two pre-bid conferences.

Besides, the issues of infrastructure maintenance cost are also being discussed, that is whether to include signalling, track maintenance, terminal cost, transportation and overheads in the haulage or not.

This is because private train operators have maintained that common facilities such as waiting hall, platform, station building, track, signalling and telecom among others are not exclusively for private trains.

The project envisages private operators to take over about 150 trains on lease from railways to run on 100 routes connecting all major cities.

Private train operators are expected to procure trains from railways on lease to begin with and later they would have their own. All operators are in favour of bringing their own customised trains from the market in the long run.

There are provisions in the RFQ which have specified that no passenger train will be allowed 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the departure of the privately-operated train on the same originating route.

There was not much action on the private train operation project in the last two months as the railways was busy transporting stranded passengers and delivering essential commodities across the country on a priority basis amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

Since the lockdown has been relaxed, all production units and workshops of the public transporter have started functioning in a graded manner.

Besides, the railways has started running 230 passenger trains to various destinations with more mail and express train services expected to commence in phases shortly.

Hundred routes are being selected based on passenger demand. Those routes which have the maximum waiting list are offered in the bid. Mumbai, Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Guwahati, Chennai and Secunderabad are major clusters for which the players are keen to run 16-coach trains.

Some of the identified routes such as Panvel-Manduadih, Panvel-Kanpur, Indore-Okhla, Bandra-Akola, Jogeshwari-Tilak Bridge, Allahabad-Pune, Patna-Hadapsar, Gorakhpur-Jogeshwari, Kanpur-Bandra, Parel-Kolhapur, Parel-Shirdi are in Mumbai clusters.

New Delhi-New Rishikesh, Faizabad-Bhatinda, Lucknow-Jammu, Chennai-Okhla, Bijwasan-Sabarmati, Tilak Bridge-Gomtinagar, Chandigarh-Sultanpur, Jaipur-Udhampur, Ambala-Allahabad are in Delhi cluster.

New Delhi-Central Mumbai, Howrah-Chennai, Howrah-Anand Vihar are some routes expected to be also in demand.

Until now, the national transporter has complete monopoly over the passenger segment though some tourist trains are being run privately in a limited way.

The maiden attempt by the state-run transporter has evinced keen interest among top companies in infrastructure and transportation sectors, including Tata and Adani groups.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

This will be interesting to see - how this works . Plus end of the day - its down to the cost of the ticket. Would this pricing be capped/regulated by Indian Railways or will the private party have a free hand in this.
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Indian Railways does remarkable work! From increasing train speed to doubling lines – 200 projects completed
Indian Railways does remarkable work! Over the last few months, Indian Railways has successfully executed more than 200 long-pending maintenance works with regular passenger train services being suspended due to COVID-19. These maintenance works include repair and re-girdering of old bridges, electrification, and doubling of rail lines, yard remodeling and renewal of scissor crossovers. These works, which were pending for several years and were causing severe bottlenecks, were planned during the lockdown period as Indian Railways considered it ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’ to take up the maintenance works without affecting the train services.

The maintenance works include rebuilding or rehabilitation of 82 bridges, 5 yard remodelling, 48 limited height subway and road under bridges in lieu of level crossing gate, 7 launching of road over bridges (ROBs), 16 construction and strengthening of foot over bridges (FOBs), 1 commissioning of doubling and electrification of railway line, 14 dismantling of old FOBs as well as 26 other rail projects. Take a look at some of the key projects:
  • On 21 May 2020, Yard modification work in Jolarpetti (Chennai Division of the Southern Railway zone) was completed. According to the Railway Ministry, it resulted in easing out of curve as well as enhancing the speed up to 60 Km per hour on Bengaluru end. Also, it facilitated simultaneous reception and dispatch.
  • On 5 May 2020, dismantling of old abandoned unsafe FOB at Ludhiana was completed. Since the year 2014, dismantling of this FOB over 19 rail tracks and 7 platforms was overdue, after new FOB was commissioned.
  • On 3 May 2020, bridge re-girdering work on Tunga River, which falls under Mysuru Division, South Western Railway, was completed, while on 30 April 2020, dismantling of unsafe deck of Kopar Road ROB near Dombivali, under Central Railway’s Mumbai Division, was completed.
  • In the Varanasi Division of North Eastern Railways, two projects of Doubling with Electrification were completed on 13 June 2020. One of these projects is 16 km section from Manduadih to Prayagraj and the other project is Kachhwa Road to Madhosingh section.
  • On 9 May 2020, Indian Railways completed the dismantling work of an ROB crossing eight tracks in the approach of the Chennai Central railway station. Since July 2016, this ROB was declared unsafe by Indian Railways and was closed for heavy vehicles.
  • On 3 May 2020, the construction of two new bridges in the Vijayawada Division were completed. Also, on 9 May 2020, Indian Railways completed the construction of limited height subway, on Howrah- Chennai route, for Level Crossing elimination in East Coast Railways’ Khurda Road Division.
  • Upgradation work of signalling on Azamgarh railway station was completed on 23 May 2020. The section from Mau to Shahganj has been upgraded to STD.-II (R). Indian Railways also upgraded the yard speed from 50 km per hour to 110 km per hour as well as simultaneous reception, dispatch and shunting facility provided.
  • Likewise, the national transporter completed the renewal of wooden layout Scissors crossover with standard PSC layout in Vijayawada and Kazipet yards. In Kazipet yard, a major block of 72 hours was taken for pending yard remodelling.
  • An Indian Railways’ innovative pilot project, which is a joint venture of the national transporter and BHEL, for powering train services by solar power, developed over a vacant railway land at Bina is currently under extensive testing. According to the Railway Ministry, it is a 1.7 Mega Watt project to directly feed to 25 kV Railway Overhead Line.
 
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