12th Nov, 2019, New Delhi: IRCTC’s Tejas Express has made a profit of around $97k (Rs 70 lakh) till October this year while earning a revenue of nearly $516k (Rs 3.70 crore) through sale of tickets, sources said, signalling a steady start for the Railways’ first “privately” run train.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express is part of the Railways’ bid to develop 50 railway stations of world-class standards and allowing private passenger train operators to run 150 trains on its network. The train has run with an average occupancy of 80-85 percent since it began operations on October 5, the sources said.
From October 5 to October 28 (21 days, as the train, runs six days a week), the expenditure incurred by IRCTC in running the train was around Rs 3 crore, they said. The Railway subsidiary, which spent an average of nearly $19.5k (Rs 14 lakh) per day to run the state-of-the-art train, earned around $24.7k (Rs 17.50 lakh) daily from passenger fares. The Tejas Express on the Lucknow-Delhi route is the Railways’ first experience of running a train by non-railway operator and its own subsidiary IRCTC.
The IRCTC has a slew of benefits worked out for its passenger’s combination meals, free insurance of up to Rs 25 lakh and compensation in case of delays. The government last month constituted a special task force comprising a group of secretaries to expedite the initiative on private train operation and station redevelopment projects. However, the first meeting of the group is yet to take place.