Indian Railways has conducted the first pre-bid meeting for the privately operated train project.
The meeting was attended by 16 entities, including IRCTC, Bombardier, GMR Group and Vedanta among others.
According to DNA India report, Indian firms Tata and Adani did not attend the meeting despite expressing interest in the programme. However, the two companies held meetings with railway officials ahead of the bidding process, sources told the publication.
Other companies such as Spicejet, IndiGo and MakeMyTrip, who were expected to be involved in the project, also did not participate in the pre-bid meeting.
The move will enable private companies to run a total of 151 trains, which will operate at speeds of up to 160km/h while the running time will be quicker than the fastest train that operates on the route.
The concession period of operations will be for 35 years.
Indian Railways will select the eligible companies through a two-step competitive bidding process.
The government estimates that the project will result in a private sector investment of Rs300bn ($3.98bn). Additionally, it will boost revenues, introduce new technologies and increase job opportunities.
The government will hold the next pre-bid meeting on 7 August.