The Indian Railways have decided to run 150 private passenger trains on selected 100 routes. Indian Railways is most likely to invite bids for these private trains next month. The operations of the private trains are now possible due to the finance ministry’s Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) giving in nod to this proposal of operating private trains on December 19. According to sources, some of the major long-distance routes shortlisted for operations of these private trains include Mumbai-Kolkata, Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Guwahati, New Delhi-Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram-Guwahati, New Delhi-Kolkata, New Delhi-Bengaluru, New Delhi-Chennai, Kolkata-Chennai and Chennai-Jodhpur. Other prominent routes that are selected by the railway board are Mumbai-Varanasi, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Lucknow, Mumbai-Nagpur, Nagpur-Pune, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam, Patna-Bengaluru, Pune-Patna, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Secunderabad, Surat-Varanasi and Bhubaneswar-Kolkata. A lot of these routes will be connecting New Delhi to Patna, Allahabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Katra, Gorakhpur, Chhapra and Bhagalpur. The recent reports suggest that 35 of the 100 rotes selected for these operations will connect to New Delhi, 26 to Mumbai, 12 to Kolkata, 11 to Chennai and eight to Bengaluru. Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said, “PPPAC has already cleared the Railways’ proposal of inviting bids from private players to run 150 trains. The bids will be invited soon, maybe in 10-15 days. It will be a milestone for Indian Railways”. One of the senior railways officials said, “Indian Railways has decided to engage three to four private operators for running trains designed to move at a maximum speed of 160 kmph. Private operators will be allowed to choose their technology and determine the fare”.