Agency New Delhi: IRCTC’s Tejas Express has made a profit of around Rs 70 lakh till October this year while earning a revenue of nearly 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 per cent 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 Rs 14 lakh per day to run the state-of-the-art train, earned around 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 passengers — 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.
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