Despite steep fares, premium trains a big hit

When reservations for LTT Varanasi Nagar Express were made available online, the entire train was booked within 35 minutes.

Written by Kalpana Verma | Mumbai | Published: April 15, 2014 12:24 am

Despite the steep fares, premium trains have been getting tremendous response from passengers. When reservations for LTT Varanasi Nagar Express were made available online, the entire train was booked within 35 minutes, raking in three times more revenue.

The Railways has decided to run more premium trains on busy routes and also explore the possibility of running semi-high speed trains.

Ticket-booking facility for such trains is available only online and there are no waiting lists or touts.

According to officials, the Railways will be able to earn around Rs 15,000 crore a year by running the trains and the money could be used for maintenance and stepping up the rail infrastructure. In this season, the Central Railway will run 26 premium trains, while Western Railway will run two trains from Mumbai.

Executive Director (Coaching), Railway Board P Guha said, “The premium trains are being run in areas where there is rush during peak season despite many trains already running. These trains are for those, who can afford the high fares.”

In LTT Varanasi premium train, the base fare of sleeper class was Rs 685. While the base ticket of AC III tier stood at Rs 1,785, this could rise to Rs 4,005, almost equivalent to a Rajdhani third AC tatkal fare.

A passenger, Vageesh Sahai, was happy when he saw that online tickets are available for Varanasi in LTT to Varanasi Premium train (02067) but was shocked when he saw the fare. “For one ticket from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus to Varanasi, the fare was Rs 5,000. Five members of our family are travelling, how can we afford such high rates ?”

In premium trains, there are no refunds except when the train is cancelled by the Railway itself due to unforeseen circumstances or due to severe disturbances affecting operations. All passengers are charged adult fare despite their age and there are no concessions. The fares applicable for each day/ transaction are indicated at the time of booking on the IRCTC e-ticketing website. The advance reservation period is shorter — maximum of 15 days, and the fare will be equal to or higher than the Rajdhani Tatkal fare. The fare is also likely to increase depending on the demand intensity.

kalpana.verma@expressindia.com

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  1. N
    nadeem
    Dec 18, 2015 at 5:01 am
    Waste of money and time in premium trains. you are paying equivalent to flight where you are saving much time. Premium only fares are dynamic but with this dynamic why no flight which takes less time. So its a flop, I have no reason to spend on these fares and spend 30 odd long hours. Waste...
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    1. T
      Tax payer
      Oct 14, 2014 at 9:58 am
      what do you mean by "These trains are for those, who can afford the high fares.” -this is why we voted to Ache din volunteers and his leaders, if the government not able to manage the Railway accounts then it doesn't meant government start behaving like Agent.
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      1. D
        Dr. Nadeem
        Jun 16, 2014 at 9:37 am
        Now railways acting as touts by ripping common man's pocket.
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        1. J
          Jeevan Reddy
          Aug 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm
          at what time booking will open in net?
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          1. P
            Prashant
            Oct 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm
            8 AM sharp, today tickets for 25th October got available to book, I book Delhi - Mumbai ACIII at 3K, and in evening, price was 5K
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