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Railways to run trains on 36 new routes with dynamic fare pricing

The Times of India:  May, 2014

New Delhi: Encouraged by the overwhelming response to the experiment of running premium trains on dynamic fare pricing, railways has decided to run such trains on 36 new routes in a bid to cater to the rush during summers and also to generate extra revenue.

By running premium trains, the transporter aims to provide faster and comfortable travel to passengers who are willing to pay a higher price.

The trains will run on busy corridors like those leading to hill stations and religious places. These include cities such as Shimla, Jammu, Kathgodam, Mahabaleshwar, Puri, Shirdi, Varanasi, Tirupati and Guwahati.

An official said the system is a win-win situation to all stakeholders as it ensures confirmed tickets for travellers though at a higher price and generates higher revenue for railways. Railways issues advertisements giving details of trains and there is a 10-15 day window for travelers to book tickets.

"Passengers are ready to pay extra for urgent travel," said an official, adding that the move would put a check on touts.

"Premium services, both AC and non-AC, are faster than any other train running between the two destinations, have pantry car for hot food and have comfortable coaches," the official added.

For premium trains, the scheme has been kept simple with no waitlist tickets, but the fare starts from the Tatkal fares of other trains and keeps going up as the seats get filled.

Tickets can be booked only on the IRCTC website which operates on dynamic fare pricing system, and are not available through PRS terminals.

In the past, such trains had 100% occupancy even as the fares went up to twice the normal ticket price.

After the huge success, railway board empowered zonal railways to take a call on running premium trains on their own, considering the popular demand.

Even common people who want to travel this summer have been taken care of as railways is operating 11 Jansadharan special trains to ensure travel on high density routes such as New Delhi-Gorakhpur, Mumbai-Gorakhpur, connecting Bihar with Delhi, Mumbai and Punjab.

These trains are unreserved and have very few stops to ensure faster travel for the common man.