The Indian Railways on Wednesday specified a slew of draft specifications that private players must include once they start running trains on its network, reported PTI.

More than 20 private firms, including L&T Infrastructure Projects Development Limited, Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens and GMR, attended the pre-application meeting. The deadline for taking part in the bidding process is September 8.

The Railways said the private players will have to guarantee at least 95% punctuality. If trains are late or early, they will have to pay compensation to the Railways.

The Railways said that for every 1% reduction in the punctuality of a train from the guaranteed 95%, private operators will have to pay extra haulage charge worth 200 km of the train operation. The haulage charge is Rs 512 per km for all private trains. Again, if a train arrives at the destination at least 10 minutes in advance, the private firm will pay the Railways extra haulage charges for 10 km. However, if a train loses 1% punctuality in a year for reasons attributable to the Railways, the latter will pay the private company damages equal to 50 km of haulage charges.

But, if trains are delayed due to reasons beyond the control of both the Railways and the private player, no one will pay anyone any amount.

The Railways will depute representatives to the offices of the private firms to ensure that they are reporting their earnings “honestly and faithfully”. If actual revenue is found to be more than 1 per cent of what is reported, the private firm will pay 10 times the difference thereof as damages to Railways.

Some of the features specified by the Railways include electronic sliding doors, Braille signages, passenger surveillance system and information and destination boards.

Below are the features mentioned by Railways to the private players:

  • The trains would provide noise-free travel to passengers and be capable of running at a speed of 160 km/hr.
  • Trains should have emergency brake which can bring them to a standstill in less than 1,250 minutes when travelling at 160 kmph.
  • The trains should have a life of 35 years.
  • Each coach shall have minimum of four electrically-powered, plug type doors, two on each side. The door mechanism shall have a safety provision whereby the train shall not start unless all doors have been closed and electrically locked. Provision shall be made for passengers to open doors to permit evacuation from a stopped train in an emergency.
  • All windows shall be provided with double-glazed safety glass.
  • Passenger emergency signs shall also be embossed in Braille signages.
  • Emergency buttons and talk-back phones shall be located near all the doors and gangways.
  • Provision shall be there for voice recording of the conversations with GPS stamping.      
  • A passenger information system shall provide automatic announcement and the display of destination information throughout the train in Hindi, English and regional languages.      
  • The passenger coach surveillance system will have close circuit television network, surveillance cameras and other accessories.
  • Each sitting car of train shall be provided with a minimum of six surveillance cameras to cover the passenger area.   
  • For a sleeper train, each car shall be provided with two surveillance cameras at an appropriate location to cover the entire corridor.