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In an attempt to shore up its non- tariff revenue through advertising and make up for losses in passenger earnings, Indian Railways has sold rights for vinyl advertisments on four trains with an aim to earn over Rs 8 crore in a year. The rights to put up vinyl wrapping advertisments on Mumbai Rajdhani, August Kranti Rajdhani, Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai double decker trains have been awarded to Media on Track, a senior Railway Ministry official said. The contract has been given for five years which can be extended upto another 10 years depending upon the performance. Media on Track will coordinate with various companies to advertise their brand and finalise it for vinyl wrappings of the whole train. He said the aim is to earn about Rs 1500 crore from vinyl wrappings in the next few years, subsequently all premier trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto will be covered under the scheme. Earlier, railways had allowed vinyl wrapping but it failed to attract adequate revenue in the absence of long-term advertising policy framework. Now a policy has been framed and we are ready to award the contract for as long as 10 years, he added. Railways will float tender next month inviting bidders for awarding vinyl wrapping contracts for Delhi-bound Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. Railway Ministry had asked RITES to do the professional assessment of how much money the railways could earn from selling ad-space and accordingly RITES did the study and came up with encouraging results. Since earnings from freight and passengers are falling, railways income should not be solely dependent on goods and passenger fare, officials said.
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