Indian Railways today held a pre-bid meeting on Private Train Project, in which 16 interested bidders participated. The meeting was held to discuss the issues and queries raised by interested parties about the operation of 151 trains under a public-private partnership.
Bombardier India, Spanish coach and component maker CAF, Rail PSUs RITES and Bharat Heavy Electricals and The GMR group are among 16 companies which have shown interest in the private train project.
Hyderabad-based Medha Group, which had bid for the Train 18 project, RK Associates and Railways’ tourism and catering arm IRCTC, Bharat Forge and JKB Infrastructure are also part of possible bidders.
The queries were largely related to eligibility criteria, bid process, procurement of rakes, operations of trains, and composition of clusters.
This is the first initiative of private investment for running Passenger Trains over Indian Railway Network which would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore, officials said.
As part of the discussion today, it was clarified that haulage charges will be specified upfront and will be suitably indexed for the entire concession period, which is 35 years.
It was also clarified that Railways will provide the details of passenger traffic being handled on the routes which have been put out for bidding.
Private entities can operate the trains either by purchasing or by taking them on lease and the risks with regard to the operation of trains shall be allocated to the parties in an equitable manner, Railways and NITI Aayog officials clarified to the interested bidders.
Ministry of Railways will also provide written replies to the queries raised by interested bidders by July 31. The next pre-bid conference has been scheduled for Aug 12.
The private entities for undertaking the projected will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP).