Let's see both the positive and negative aspects of privatizing the largest railway network in the world.
By privatizing railways, consumers are going to get better services. The coach conditions, cleanliness of trains, seating arrangements, washrooms, doors, etc., everything is surely going to improve. Railway platforms will get cleaner, railway platforms will get lifts, better parking facilities, wi-fi, reduce in the number of track crossing deaths, better benches, etc. Railway employees will start becoming polite and humble. Trains will start running on time. Privatization of Railways will definitely result in better and efficient services. And coming to the main question, railways will definitely start making profits because private companies do business only to make profits.
Now, coming to the real part which most of the people fail to see. Privatizing railways means increasing the ticket costs at the end. Directly or indirectly, tickets will become much costlier over time. Tickets might not become expensive immediately but after a decade, when some other political party comes to power at the Center, ticket rates are definitely going to increase. Now let me explain this in detail.
Privatizing means the government will call up tenders and assign the contract to some private company. In this first step itself, corruption will take place as political leaders will take huge amounts of unauthorized money from the company to give the contract to it. To name a few instances, we can consider the Rafale deal and Pilatus deal (in which fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had given huge amounts of money to IAF officers and central ministers so that he could get the deal). There are many such more instances.
Now since one company will get the contract, this will result in the monopoly of railways. The company could fix the ticket rates as it wants. Obviously, the government will have the power to cancel the contract if the company does anything unfair to customers but in a country like India where corruption is present at every step of life, it won't be difficult for the company to give money to a few leaders to stop the government from canceling the contract. Monopoly over such huge public service can impact both our company's economy and create huge amounts of difficulties for the general public. For example, in Punjab, initially, the state government used to provide electricity to homes. Power cuts were frequent, infrastructure was poor but the cost of 1 unit of electricity was below Rs 4. After the power supplying contract was given to a private company named PSPCL, the services improved significantly, but the cost of 1 unit has increased to almost Rs 9 per unit which is unbearable even to a common middle-class income man. And according to Punjab laws, no other company can provide electricity to homes other than PSPCL.
Now, even if the government thinks of partially privatizing the railways, eventually after a few years, the government will fully privatize the railways as the government is trying to do in case of Air India. The government has passed the law to enable private players to own more than 49% stake in government enterprises just to be able to fully privatize Air India.
Coming to the last and the most important point, railways will not be for poor, but for rich. Trains will not be the medium of travel for poor people, which make the most of India's population but a burden for the common man. I don't need to explain this point.
Think and care for the poor!