Indian Railways is getting ready to start the process of privatisation as the national transporter plans to offer more train operation services to private players in the coming years.

Indian Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the first-ever private project, Tejas Express, will begin operations from October. It will cover the distance between Delhi and Lucknow.

Yadav said that offering trains to private players plays a key role for Indian Railways to sustain and maintain train coaches.

Indian Railways will provide its own crew of loco pilots and guards to run the trains, and the private players will be responsible for ticketing, entertainment and other services on board the trains.

Yadav said: “We are going to work on the speed enhancement of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridor to 160kmph in the next four years. The Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will be completed by 2021, which will have the speed of 100kmph. Once these dedicated freight and passenger corridors are operational, we can introduce more trains to private players.

“We have started working on the plan and many companies have shown interest in the idea.”

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From November, Indian Railways is planning to run the next route of Tejas Express on a private basis between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.