The request for qualification (RFQ), which was floated on July 8, is likely to be finalised by November, the financial bids will be opened by March, 2021 and selection of bidders is planned by April 31, 2021, according to a timeline for introduction of private passenger trains prepared by the railways.
Bidders quoting the highest share in gross revenue shall be awarded the project, officials said.
"We have worked out a plan by which we hope to begin private train operations. Tenders will be finalised by March 2021 and trains will operate from March, 2023," a senior official said.
The railways has said that 70 per cent of the private trains will be manufactured in India which will be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a reduction in journey time by around 10-15 per cent at 130 kmph and around 30 per cent at 160 kmph. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways
operating in the respective route.
The private player will pay the railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. The railways is expected to receive total haulage charges of around Rs 3,000 crore per annum from operation of these 151 trains, they said.
The operation and maintenance of these trains would be governed by standards and specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways.
The operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to the key performance indicators like punctuality (95 per cent), reliability (not more than one failure for 100,000 km of travel), upkeep of trains and other necessities.
The railways also has pre-specified penalties which will be recovered from the private players for failure to meet the prescribed performance standards and outcomes. Similarly, penalties will be pre-specified in the Concession Agreement for the failure on the part of the railways, officials said.