The Indian Railways is planning to purchase readymade trains, coaches, train sets, Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) from private manufacturers.
NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways is one of the few government-owned enterprises which is incurring losses year-after-year. On the other hand, the state-run air carrier Air India is also running into losses following the heightened competition amid the domestic aviation sector. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, in its first term from 2014 to 2019, deliberately pushed Air India divestment programme but it didn’t turn out as expected.
In the second term, the government is keenly looking forward to restarting the Air India disinvestment process and reduce the losses of Indian Railways. The induction of private players in railways, and inviting investment from the industry are some of the possibilities which are being expected in from the Indian Railways. The Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has recently said that the ministry is looking forward to inviting investments for the new technology and railway lines.
The Indian Railways is planning to purchase readymade trains, coaches, train sets, Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) from private manufacturers instead of buying them from the state-run production units including Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Kapurthala-situated Rail Coach Factory (RCF) and Raebareli-established Modern Coach Factory (MCF).
As of now, the aforementioned manufacturing facilities have produced the coaches of luxury to high-speed trains including Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Duronto Express, Tejas Express, Gatimaan Express and the recently-inducted Vande Bharat Express (Train 18).
The idea buying the readymade trains and coaches was proposed in a meeting held in New Delhi in which Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State of Railways Suresh C. Angadi were present, the report added. The move to procure the train sets and coaches from private players is likely to put a little strain on business models of the government-owned train production facilities, while, on the other hand, the Indian Railways can bring up the latest technology available in the world on the world’s busiest and largest railway network.
According to a PTI report, the Tejas Express train on the Delhi-Lucknow route is likely to become the first train which is to be operated by private entities. The move to invite private players to operate and manage Indian Railways train has been done well in advance as against government’s 100-day plan.