Tejas Express, Indian Railways aircraft-like luxury chair car service, is all set to become the first train to be run by private operators. According to reports, the Railways is going ahead with its 100-day agenda of handing over operations of two of its trains to the private sector, despite protests from its unions.
The Railway Board is deliberating on a second such route, which too would be within the 500-km distance range.
The move is part of the proposal of the Railway Board in its 100-day plan to test private sector participation in the running of trains.
The proposal was to offer two trains to operators who would be willing to be part of the bidding process for rights to run private passenger day/overnight train sets connecting important cities. The Railways also said that it would float a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ) in the next 100 days.
The train will be handed over to private players after an open bidding process for operationalisation.
However, the custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges, to the financing arm, IRFC.
"These two trains will be given on an experimental basis and we hope that within the next 100 days, we will be able to run at least one of them. The idea was to identify routes which have low congestion and connect important tourists spots. The second train too will be identified soon," a senior official said.
Here’s all you need to know about the train:
• The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express was announced in 2016 but was introduced in the new time table released recently.
• Tejas Express is currently parked at the Annandnagar railway station in Uttar Pradesh.
• Tejas Express will only have a single stop i.e. in Kanpur which will reduce the time taken to cover the distance between Delhi and Lucknow.
• It will take approximately six and a half hours to cover the distance between two stations.
• The train will run on all days of the week except Sunday and Thursday.
• Lucknow Junction-New Delhi Tejas Express (train number 12585) will leave Lucknow Junction at 6:50 am to reach New Delhi at 1:35 pm.
• Similarly, New Delhi-Lucknow Junction Tejas Express (train number 12586) will leave from New Delhi station at 3:35 pm to arrive in Lucknow at 10:05 pm.