'Private trains' to ply from Secunderabad soon

These trains will reportedly have modern rakes, with special smart features to provide world-class facilities to passengers with the help of intelligent sensor-based systems. 

Published: 02nd September 2021 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2021 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

Image of train for representation. (File Photo | PTI)

Image for representation. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: After undertaking station redevelopment by involving private players, the Railways under a public-private partnership (PPP) will be operating ‘private trains’ from Secunderabad soon. This will be a part of Railway Ministry’s plan to operate 29 pairs of new trains, each with around 40 modern rakes entailing an investment of around Rs 7,200 crore.

As part of this venture, the South Central Railways (SCR) has already identified routes and these trains will run between Secunderabad and Srikakulam via Visakhapatnam, Secunderabad and Tirupati, Guntur and Secunderabad, Secunderabad and Mumbai, Secunderabad and Puducherry via Chennai and Howrah-Secunderabad.

Besides this, several other routes under SCR zone will be also connected and they include Guntur-Kurnool city, Tirupati-Varanasi via Secunderabad, Mumbai-Aurangabad and Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada. “After evaluation, these routes were identified as suitable to these trains. This is an entirely new attempt,” said a senior SCR official.

According to officials, these trains will have modern rakes, with special smart features to provide world-class facilities to passengers with the help of intelligent sensor-based systems. These coaches will be equipped with Passenger Information and Coach Computing Units (PICCUs) provided with GSM network connectivity, which reports to the remote server. The PICCUs will record the data of WSP, CCTV recording, toilet odour sensors, panic switch and other items integrated with fire detection and alarm system, air quality and choke filter sensors and energy meters. Six cameras are fitted in each coach which give live recording while CCTVs will day-night vision capability and facial recognition even in low light conditions.

However, railway sources informed that bids for PPP in Passenger Train Operations project were opened for both private and public sectors to operate these trains public private partnership, but there were only a few takers. Currently Railways is re-evaluating the process and tweaking the bidding norms to ensure participation of more players.

“One of the reasons is less patronage for trains during the pandemic. Trains are running with 30% to 40% less passengers compared to pre-Covid days. Also, for those who travel in AC coaches, there were no special provisions unlike earlier days,” observed another official.



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