Private parties will soon be able to lease and buy railway coaches for running theme-based cultural, religious and other tourist circuit trains, as per a policy being formulated by the Indian Railways.
The Indian Railways said that an executive director-level committee has been set up by the Ministry of Railways to formulate the policy along with terms and conditions of the project.
“To tap the potential of tourism sector and to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of tourism sector in tourism activities like marketing, hospitality, integration of services, reach with customer base, expertise in development/identification of tourist circuits etc., Indian Railways is planning to spread rail-based tourism among masses through leasing of coaching stock to interested parties to run them as theme-based cultural, religious and other tourist circuit trains,” said the sources.
According to the sources, the interested parties have to buy or lease a train with a minimum of 16 coaches.
This comes at a time when the railwaysare thinking toinvolve private players for running its “private trains”, which is receiving very little interest from India Inc.
Theplanned model will allow private parties to carry on minor overhauling of coaches and leasing of coaches for a minimum period of 5 years and extendable till codal life of coaches.
The interested party will develop or decide on the business model (routes, itineraryand tariff).Precedence will be given to punctuality, timely approvals for coach refurbishment and itineraries.
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