Indian Railways re-evaluates tendering process for private trains

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Successful bidders were to be offered a 35-year concession period based on a revenue model. Credit: Faraz Arshad on Unsplash.

Indian Railways is reportedly reviewing the current tender process for its $ 4.05 billion (300 billion rupees) tender for the operation of private passenger trains.

In July 2020, India’s Ministry of Railways invited private entities to operate 151 new trains.

These trains were to run on more than 109 origin-destination (OD) route pairs.

It grouped the 109 OD pairs into 12 groups across the rail network, each of the trains having a minimum of 16 cars.

Successful bidders were to be offered a 35-year concession period based on a revenue model.

However, according to the rail operator, this call for tenders did not generate much interest from private entities.

Of the 12 clusters launched for deals, only three saw an offer at all.

A government official was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: “The entire tendering process for private passenger train operations is being re-evaluated. Offers in this process may or may not be removed upon completion of the review.

During the Request for Qualification (RFQ) last year, around 16 private sector companies expressed interest in the private train project.

The companies included GMR Highways, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, IRB Infrastructure Developers and CAF India Private.

The commitment decreased considerably during the tender stage (financial tender) which took place recently, with the participation of only two bidders.

Earlier this month, the Indian Railways Organization of Alternate Fuel (IROAF) put out tenders for the development of a hydrogen fuel cell train on the Indian rail network.

This project should promote the concept of hydrogen mobility in India.


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