Indian Railways is all set to roll out ad-wrapped trains with start of tendering process for 23 trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi. Railways is eyeing to earn Rs 300 crore revenue from vinyl wrapping on outer surface of trains.
Initially, Railway is offering 23 trains in Central and Western Zone and bid has to be submitted by September 3. The trains have been divided in six groups consisting of Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Double Decker, Mail and Express trains.
There have been examples in the past where vinyl wrapping has been done on trains but Indian Railways is now planning to take it in a big way and has plans to wrap over 10,000 trains. Railways now plans to offer vinyl wrapping option on all trains in future as according to a study by RITES, a Mini Ratna Central Public Service Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways, advertising on trains has a good potential to increase railways revenue manifold.
“Using outer surface of trains for advertising has good potential to earn revenue as it will catch eyeballs and industry will get a captive audience. It will also save the cost of painting of coaches and easy to maintain. The idea is that railways income should not be solely dependent on freight and passenger fare,” said a senior railway officer.
RITES in a study has found that railways has potential to earn Rs 10,000 crore a year just by selling space for advertising in coaches, wagons and stations among others. But, Railway feel that the analysis is very conservative and actual revenues from these sources could be much higher.
The government run transporter is now focusing on three non fare areas for generating revenues – train wrapping, display network and advertising on external surface. Vinyl wrapped trains would soon be rolled out with railways completing all formalities.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in his budget speech has focused on exploring non fare revenues for improving ailing railways. A non fare revenue directorate has been created in the Railway Board with a mandate for enhancing revenues by 10 percent to 20 percent from non-tariff sources.
Railway has huge potential to use its space for advertising as it runs 13000 trains per day on 63,000 kilometer of track and carries 23 million passengers – equivalent to population of Australia.