As many as 23 firms, which included the likes of Bombardier, GMR, Siemens, CAF, Alstom Transport India, Gateway Rail, IRCTC, BHEL, BEML, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects and Titagarh Wagons, participated in the second pre-bid meeting on August 12.
In the first meeting held on July 21, 16 firms had attended the meeting.
According to sources, the companies raised queries about flexibility in clusters, eligibility criteria, bidding process, procurement of trains, fares and maintenance.
The Railways said it has reduced the Request For Qualification (RFQ) fee by one tenth for those entities participating in more than one project.
The Railways told the participating companies that complete freedom will be given for procurement of trains.
The Railways has also removed restriction of up to three projects per bidder and clarified that leasing of trains is allowed.
The national transporter had earlier said the operator shall have the freedom to decide on fare to be charged from passengers.
The indicative haulage charges have been fixed at Rs 512.31 per train km for 2019-20 with indexation.
The responses to queries of the companies in the second pre-application conference will be uploaded by August 21.
In the first pre-bid meeting too, the interested parties had raised queries ranging from the operation of trains to mode of financing.
The due date for submitting RFQ is September 8, 2020.
The private trains project of the Indian Railways is expected to boost the revenues of the national transporter, which has been trying to look at ways to reduce losses in that segment.
Also Read: Railways to introduce 12 private trains by 2023, 151 by 2027Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here