Date of Post: 19 Jan, 2019
Railways is considering to allow private players run passenger and freight operations, a senior railway official said on Friday. Currently, senior officials are now discussing the matter, said Railway Board member (Traffic) Girish Pillai, at an event organised by Centre for Transportation Research and Management.
- He said, there have been many changes in train operations across the world and I think it’s time that India should discuss the options of allowing private operators to operate passenger trains.
- He said,”Whether they can be permitted to fix fares, construct terminals, senior officials of railways and experts in the field are discussing this.”
- There was a need to separate the freight sector and passenger services, he also said.
- Running train services in the country is a loss making endeavour and only a few trains are making any profit, while others are running in losses.
- Only 15% of the non-suburban passengers travel in reserved classes among whom around 5% travel in higher classes and 10% to 11% travel in sleeper classes, the senior official said.
- He said,”Most of them travel in unreserved category. There is a need for changes in freight as well as passenger fares and there needs to be more flexibility in them.”
- The senior official pointed out that with the nod for private players to enter the freight sector around 50 private freight terminals have come up in the country and railways wants more to come up.
- The rail operator in the USA has only 25% of the wagon and container services and the other 75% are with private businesses, he said.
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