To cash in on the last-minute demand for confirmed tickets on routes perennially choked with waitlisted passengers, the Railways has selected 20 routes across India to introduce non-stop trains with dynamic fares.
Like airlines, the closer to the date of journey one books the ticket, the more it would cost — significantly more than the normal price of tickets on the same routes.
Tickets would only be available online and cannot be cancelled. Only AC-II and III classes would be available and food would be provided as part of the fare. The list of routes includes those where getting a confirmed ticket proves difficult throughout the year.
Experimenting with this model on the Delhi-Mumbai route during the Christmas-New Year holiday season, the Railways earned 43 per cent more than it does by running the regular Mumbai Rajdhani.
In the New Delhi-Mumbai pilot train, several people paid over 100 per cent more for each ticket on December 30 and January 1.
In the 11 days, Railways earned Rs 81 lakh more than it does through the Mumbai Rajdhani. It hopes to replicate this success on 20 other routes. “Now there will be an option for those who don’t mind paying more for a confirmed ticket but don’t want the uncertainty of waitlisted tickets,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.