Updated: November 18, 2021 5:50:58 pm
In order to draw more passengers towards its air-conditioned local trains, the Western Railways (WR), on an experimental basis, is planning to allow passengers with non-AC first- or second-class tickets or seasonal passes to travel in the AC trains and pay the difference in fare during the journey.
The decision was taken as these trains, launched in 2017, have failed to attract as many passengers as was expected.
Alok Kansal, General Manager of WR, said the decision was taken to ensure that more commuters can enjoy the experience of travelling in AC trains.
Kansal said the implementation of this experiment will start in about a month and passengers will soon be provided with detailed information on it.
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The Railway Board and the ministry are also contemplating rationalising the fare structure of AC local trains. At present, a ticket in an AC train, that runs between Churchgate and Virar, costs between Rs 65 and Rs 220.
The department will also increase the number of trips the AC trains take in a day, Kansal added.
The WR has four air-conditioned rakes, of which only two trains are in operation at present. The trains make 12 rounds in a day; eight more rounds have been sanctioned.
“This decision of allowing other passengers to travel in AC trains after paying the difference in fare will bring relief to passengers,” said Rajesh Ghanghav of a passengers’ association.
In future, all new local trains in the Mumbai suburban network will be air-conditioned, officials said.
WR is also in the process of starting a long-distance train services from Jogeshwari station for which it is planning to convert the station into a terminus, said Kansal.
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