Railways to call for bids for redevelopment of stations


Private players to have more role in improving passenger amenities

Indian Railways will be calling for bids for redevelopment of stations under the public, private partnership mode as well as for running more private trains in the Mumbai-Delhi-Kolkata sections soon, said Chairman, Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav.

“We have redesigned the station redevelopment model and will be unveiling the details shortly. There is also potential for running more passenger trains in addition to the existing ones run on the Mumbai-Delhi-Kolkata routes within the next two years. Bidding will take one year and at least three years to get them rolling,” he said.

Mr. Yadav envisages private players to play a significant role in the coming years in terms of improving passenger amenities like better food, clean linen, entertainment and so on as it happens all over the world.

“We need more state-of -the- art rolling stock so we are going for corporatisation but only after talking to the employees unions and tweaking will be done on how to handle the new operations,” he said. Proposed new trains will be in addition to the existing ones so that there will be no effect on the staff since infrastructure and operations will remain with the railways. “There is no question of privatisation and there will be no problem to any of the employees,” the Chairman maintained.

What gives him more satisfaction is the fact that there has been zero passenger fatality in the current financial year. “Our safety standards and operational efficiency have gone up. The Real Time Information System (RTIS) with ISRO-Gagan will be completed for all trains within six months,” he said.

Towards enhanced safety, European Train Control Systems – 2 is to be introduced with bids invited for a pilot project of 650 km for modernising the signalling and telecommunication systems. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) too has consented to provide 5MHz spectrum in 700 MHz band after extensive consultations and once it is available the signals will be inside the loco-cab, he explained.

“We expect a major shift to happen in two years and once it gets stabilised, we will go for a massive scale especially in 11,000 km carrying 60% traffic and another 23,000 km having 36% traffic. For remaining 34,000 km carrying only 4% traffic, we will go for the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TICAS) for which 1,200 km bids were called following test runs,” said Mr. Yadav.

Another 11,000 km of ‘congested’ lines has been identified in other parts carrying 60% traffic in East-West as well as North-South routes. A ₹500 crore feasibility study is under way to upgrade the 5,800 km of this section as another phase of dedicated freight corridor, he said. Funding is through debt equity or PPPs.

Railways has also identified 10,000 km for the high speed corridor and 500 km is being done with the help of Japan. Feasibility study has been completed for 4,000 km of Chennai, Bengaluru and Mysuru with talks under way with firms from Russia, France, Germany, Spain, China besides Japan to push the project, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:13:38 AM |

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