Private players are interested in running special and tourist trains, this is the reason, private players’ first choice is not common but special and tourist trains, this is the reason
Private players are interested in running special and tourist trains, this is the reason
- Private players have less interest in running regular trains
- Private players have special interest in running special and tourist trains
- Mountain rail is also a special choice of private players
Kundan Singh, Special Correspondent
Amidst all the efforts and announcements, why are private train operators not showing interest in Indian Railways, this question remains a topic of discussion not only among the officials of Indian Railways but also among the experts watching the private sector. From the budget announcements of the government to the formation of all the Inter-Ministerial Committees, no significant progress was made except for one or two station development in the name of private investment, nor did the big player come forward to run the train. In the two clusters for which 2 companies also came, one of the railway’s own PSU IRCTC and the other Megha. For those who do not have much experience in this sector, in such a situation, the Railways have no other option but to re-issue the train operation tender by changing it.
Why private players are not interested in common trains
Now the question arises that what is the reason, is there any mistake in the policy of the Railways or is it a loss-making deal to operate the train from the private sector, in which it does not want to get involved. But it is not the case that the private sector has been involved in train operations since years, not from today. Although these sectors have been trains of super luxury and high premium sector, not ordinary passengers. Also, there has been a longstanding interest of the private sector in hill and mountain trains with tourist destinations. Perhaps this is the reason why the railways is once again considering the option of leasing hill and mountain train routes by changing its policy, as well as making the passenger sector policy more lucrative and flexible.
Let us see how the private sector has already been running trains in the premium sector.
Popular Trains from Luxury and Premium Sector
- Maharaja Express – Operated by IRCTC
- Palace on Wheels – Powered by Rajasthan Tourism
- Royal Rajasthan on Hills – Powered by Rajasthan Tourism
- The Deccan Odyssey – Powered by Maharashtra Tourism
- Golden Chariot – Operated by Karnataka Tourism and IRCTC
- Fair Queen Express – operated by Northern Railway and IRCTC
Tourist trains special choice
Trains like Palace on Wheels have been the first choice of foreign tourists from all over the world, whose one day fare is in lakhs of rupees, while IRCTC’s first and most expensive luxury train Maharaja Express has a trip fare of 5 to 6 lakh rupees. Most of the trains are run by targeting international tourists, whose operators also earn a lot of profit and also give revenue to the railways. The same number of inquiries came for the operation of Hill Mountain trains by these big tour operators, after which a policy was also made in the Railways in 2017. There is talk of bringing him once again
also like mountain rail
It is worth noting that many mountain railways in the country have been declared heritage sites by UNESCO, due to which they are the first choice of foreign tourists due to running in narrow gauge. Mountain Railway is already on the popular tourist destination of the country. Talking about the present time, from Kalka Shimla to Darjeeling Himalayan and Matheran Railway all are included in the World Heritage Site. The private sector feels that there is a good scope in terms of tourism, from the same maintenance to its operation, it is different from the rest of the train operations of the railways by making cosmetic changes according to the demand in these trains as well as the fluctuation in the fare according to the demand Earning Might be a better option. In the rest of the route, it will be difficult to do coordination from different divisions, zones in terms of inter-connectivity.
country-run mountain railway
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – in Darjeeling, West Bengal
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway – Tamil Nadu
- Kalka Shimla Railway – In Himachal Pradesh
- Matheran Hills Railway – In Maharashtra
- Kangra Valley Railway – In Himachal Pradesh
The main reason for not coming in private investment
Although, even before this, several attempts were made to bring investment by the private sector by taking the railways, but except for some sectors, the result was not satisfactory. But for the first time, an attempt was made to bring the private sector on board in train operation by being so vocal, but this time also it did not succeed. After all, what is the reason for this, Rajat Arora, who monitors the transport policy, explains that the main reason behind this is that the private sector does not see the economy viability in the passenger sector. First of all, even today the private sector does not consider railways as investor friendly.
Railway’s own structure Multiple power centers in which from Railway Board to Zonal System then Division has its own authority. The private sector feels that it is not easy to deal with it in everyday work. The same people have shifted on air due to plans like Passenger Udan which pays higher fares. Taking too much time in traveling by railway is also a big reason for not traveling. Even today, the private sector is likely to get investment in the tourism sector, such as there are many routes in the country like Delhi Katra-Mumbai Sirdi, apart from this, the private sector will have to be given more incentives. That would be a single window system. The old rules have to be changed. If the policy has to be changed with facilities like expensive haulage charge and cheap rolling stock, then go somewhere private investment railways choose your preferred option.
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