There was a lukewarm response from passengers towards railways’ 80 special trains, bookings for which opened on Thursday, with the average occupancy rate being less than 50 per cent, except for two trains which showed more than 100 per cent occupancy.
While Indore Jn Bg Railway station to Howrah in West Bengal showed an occupancy of 108 per cent, the Shramik Express from Valsad station to Muzaffarpur in Bihar showed occupancy of 179 per cent, according to data provided by the national transporter.
Though the Indore to Howrah train was over booked, the train in the reverse direction had only 15 per cent occupancy. Another train running over western railway between Manmad and Mumbai in Maharashtra showed 52 per cent occupancy.
Occupancy in trains originating from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal for journeys towards Karnataka and Telangana maintained an average occupancy of around 30 per cent.
The most occupancy of 47 per cent was seen in the Muzaffarpur-Bangalore weekly special train, followed by the Gorakhpur-Yesvantpur Jn Railway station at 32.4 per cent and the Darbhanga-Secunderabad special which has an occupancy of 31 per cent.
With the railways stating that they have introduced these special trains in areas where there is more demand and tickets are being waitlisted, only three among the 80 have managed to garner even 50 per cent occupancy on the first day of booking, according to the data.
It is significant to note that when the railways announced that bookings were open for the 15 pairs of trains running on the Rajdhani routes since May 12 and 100 pairs operating since June 1 — the tickets were all booked within a few hours.
The trains with lowest occupancy includes the Vande Bharat Express with only two per cent bookings till 6 pm and the trains from New Delhi to Lucknow and back which have seen less than 2 per cent bookings.
In other trains like the Jaipur-Prayagraj Jn special, Mysore-Bhubaneshwar special, occupancy was less than one per cent.
“This is just day one. Many trains are weekly, bi-weekly and so on. Reservation for those trains is expected to pick up as we get closer to those days,” said a railway official.
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