Indian Railways (IR) has proposed to operate two premium private passenger trains from Vizag to Vijayawada and Tirupati respectively. The Indian Railway Board has decided to allow private operators to run 150 trains on 100 selected routes across India. The routes have been further split into twelve clusters. Vizag, which has been placed under the Secunderabad Cluster, will have nine trains, passing by the city.
Reportedly, a total of 18 train rakes have been allotted for each of the nine proposed locomotives. The trains, from Vizag to Vijayawada, and Vizag to Tirupati, will be deployed, thrice a week. Routes of other private trains, passing via Vizag, are as follows:
- Cherlapally (Hyderabad) to Srikakulam – every day
- Cherlapally (Hyderabad) to Shalimar – every day
- Howrah to Chennai – every day
- Gauhati to Secunderabad – twice a week
- Kochuveli (Trivandrum) to Gauhati – thrice a week
- Bengaluru to Gauhati – once a week
- Shalimar to Bengaluru – every day
These passenger trains will be allowed to run at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. The private entities will provide onboard services, including hospitality and entertainment, in these trains, based on a revenue-sharing model with the Indian Government. All the bogies of the private trains will be air-conditioned, with automatic temperature and humidity control. The trains will be furnished with personalised reading lights, LED TV screens, CCTV cameras, bio-toilets, and automatic doors. Furthermore, reverse osmosis (RO) machines, tea, and coffee vending machines, will be made available for the passengers. Reportedly, bids for the routes are likely to be invited in February. The private trains from Vizag will get on track by 2023.
The Indian Railways had earlier commissioned the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to run private trains on its routes. In line with the directive, IRCTC launched Tejas Express from Lucknow to New Delhi, on 4 October, 2019. Another Tejas Express, connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad was flagged off, by Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani, on 17 January, 2020.