The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is working on a luggage booking facility for passengers on the premium Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express, which will have their bags picked up from their homes and delivered at their destination before they get there — for an additional cost of Rs 110 per kg.
The plan is to offer this service to passengers as they book tickets. The bags will travel by air.
The IRCTC is in the process of tying up with a private start-up, ‘Book Baggage’, which will make this service available. The commuter can book luggage according to the maximum permissible limit that they can avail under their tickets.
An IRCTC official said that for a First AC commuter, the limit is 70 kg while for Second AC, it is 50 kg, and 40 kg for Sleeper class. The train will have two classes — the executive chair car and normal chair car. “We are looking at the maximum luggage that can be booked. But mostly, the maximum permissible limits of Railways will have to be adhered to,” said the official.
Once a commuter has opted for this service, an executive from the service provider will arrive at the passenger’s home the previous evening. The luggage will be scanned for any prohibited items and packed. The bags will be delivered to the passenger’s destination, which may be a home or a hotel or any other address at the same destination as mentioned on the ticket, and only to places with flight connectivity. The luggage will also be geo-tagged, to enable a commuter to track its journey.
Tejas Express is proposed to halt at Mumbai Central, Borivali, Vapi, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand Junction and Ahmedabad. “The service will be available depending on the availability of flight connectivity to the region. There is a flight connecting flight from Mumbai to Surat but not to Anand Junction,” said an official.
The IRCTC is looking at starting this facility when the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express service will begin. The train will depart from Mumbai Central at 3.40 pm and reach Ahmedabad at 9.55 pm. It will leave Ahmedabad at 6.10 am and reach Mumbai at 1.10 pm.
A senior official said, “Several commuters come from Navi Mumbai and other far-off suburbs to board a train. They have to book a cab to reach the station, as they have several bags with them. This will enable them to travel luggage free.”
The IRCTC is also looking at starting the facility onboard the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express.
IRCTC spokesperson Narendra Pipil said, “We have proposed the plan to enable commuters to book luggage by air and travel hassle free. We are in the process of finalising it.”
Rajesh Rana, General Manager of IRCTC, added: “We have sent the proposal for approval to our corporate office in Delhi. Things are expected to be finalised shortly. The facility will initially be started on a trial basis for six months. Subsequently, depending on the commuters’ response, further decision will be taken.”