Several top companies including L&T, GMR and Welspun are found eligible to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage to operate private passenger train services.
Out of 120 applications from 16 firms at the Request for Qualification (RFQ) stage, 102 applications were found eligible for the RFP stage, the Ministry of Railways said.
The Railways invited bids from private firms to operate passenger train services in over 12 clusters comprising more than 150 origin destination pair of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains.
The project envisages private investment to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore for running passenger trains over the rail network for the first time.
The private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a transparent two-stage competitive bidding process comprising request for qualification (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP).
The RFQ for 12 clusters were published on July 1, 2020.
The firms that have made the applications for the clusters include Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarrriles, S.A, Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pvt Ltd, Gateway Rail freight Limited, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd, and IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd, and Malempati Power Private Ltd, PNC Infratech among others.
With high footfall and revenue, firms showed the most interest in Delhi and Mumbai clusters.
The Railways plans to begin private train operations by March 2023, with 12 trains, according to an internal projection. By 2027, the Railways plans to bring in 151 such services.