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Blog Entry# 1974126
Posted: Aug 27 2016 (17:41)

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Last Response: Aug 27 2016 (17:41)
  
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Aug 27 2016 (13:52)   Railways take 'special' route to fare hike
 

Jayashree   40215 news posts
Entry# 1974126   News Entry# 278290         Tags   Past Edits
In a clever move that allows railways extra revenue while at the same time not having to raise the PR-damaging 'fare hike' phrase, the railways is running almost all extra trains during festivities at special rates.
These rates are higher than of normal trains, and railways is calling it 'special charges', a euphemism for hiked fares.
The latest example of this 'special charge revenue model' of the railways is the 226 train services on Konkan Railway to beat the passenger rush for Ganpati festivities. The Ganpati fortnight is among the heaviest passenger rush
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scenarios for the railways with thousands of people making the trip from Mumbai to their native villages in the Konkan hinterland.
All these 226 trips are being run on special charges, said officials, as they are over and above the timetable schedule of trains. "It is an extra offering, so it comes at an extra price," explained an official.
Western Railway on its part, between April and July this year, ran 659 such special trains. Central Railway, however, ran 494 special trains during the same time.
According to officials, the total number of special trains across the Indian Railway network could be upwards of 35000 in a year.
The same 'special charge' line of thought is also being used to run a large number of services on heavily patronised routes under the Suvidha concept.
Started in July 2015, the Suvidha concept includes train tickets which are sold in lots of five at gradually increasing prices with the base price being that of the Tatkal fare for that particular route.
Several Suvidha routes have been formalised with the trains having numbers starting with eight.
"What the railways has cleverly done is to slowly increase the proportion of special trains in their schedule without too much of a hue and cry from the passengers. No one is realising that over the past few months a huge number of trains across the country are being run as special trains with special charges or Suvidha trains," said an official.
A query sent to Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed on whether the percentage of special trains among the total number of services run by the railways has crossed 10% did not elicit a reply.

1 Public Posts - Sat Aug 27, 2016

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