New Delhi (Metro Rail News): Indore-Varanasi private Humsafar Express is coming soon! IRCTC’s third private train on the Indian Railways network would run in the middle Indore and Varanasi! Recently, Vinod Kumar Yadav Railway Board Chairman was stated in a PTI report saying that the overnight train would have same rakes as those of Indian Railways’ Humsafar Express. Further, he added that the upcoming train service would ply on the Indore-Varanasi route. Currently, the catering and e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, IRCTC operates the first two private trains of India – Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express and Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express.
As mentioned in the report by the officials, the upcoming private train Indore-Varanasi would run three days in a week – two days through Lucknow and one day through Allahabad. The new Humsafar Express will be the first private train by IRCTC to have sleeper coaches, and not chair car coaches. The upcoming private train is possibly to inaugurate its services around February 20.
Features of Humsafar Express
The private Humsafar Express trains of Indian Railways are an upgraded version of the premium Rajdhani Express trains, best suitable for overnight long-distance routes. The fully air-conditioned train service boasts various modern features such as comfortable berths, excellent fire retardant, and suppression system, tea/coffee/soup vending machines, multiple mobile charging points, GPS-based passenger information system, LED lights, toilet occupancy indicators, CCTV cameras, modular bio-toilets, etc.
As stated by Yadav, more than a couple of dozen private firms, including global majors Alstom Transport, Bombardier, Macquarie, and Siemens AG have shown interest in the proposal. He more added that among all the companies Tata had shown interest to run private trains on the Indian Railways network.
As per the Railway Board Chairman, while up to 150 trains that are to be run by private operators are in the pipeline, till the modalities are complete, IRCTC, the catering and e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, will continue to operate the trains.
In fact, the step by Indian Railways to let private operators run passenger trains has attracted more than a couple of dozen companies. While the infrastructure, safety, operations, and maintenance will be handled by the national transporter, the private players can use rakes on lease and offer better onboard experience and services to railway passengers, in terms of comfort, entertainment, food, among others, he said.
recently, a discussion paper was issued by NITI Aayog and Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry has forecast expense of around Rs 22,500 crore to run the 150 private trains across 100 Indian Railways’ routes. The private firms will have to bid for a network of routes, however, the bids will be finalized on a revenue-sharing model.