In an attempt to make rail fares market driven, Railways has decided not to fix ticket prices for trains run by private players.
“It will be market driven. Even now we are not fixing the fare of the two trains we have given to IRCTC to run, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav told The Times of India.
Railways has already handed operations of two of its luxurious Tejas Express trains to Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.
The board had earlier planned to fix the ceiling on fares of trains run by private players to prevent a sudden spurt in prices, especially during the festive season.
Yadav also said that Railways would allow private players to design, procure, finance, operate and maintain the trains on a contract, which could be of 30 years.
While speaking to reporters, he added that the board is hopeful of inviting the bids next month for the first 150 trains that would ply on 100 routes, adding that the first set of private trains may start running in the next two years.
The Railway Board chairman said that ongoing infrastructure work, including the dedicated freight corridors, would allow the national transporter to run 1,500 to 2,000 more trains over the next five to seven years.