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Blog Entry# 3755863
Posted: Aug 28 2018 (08:15)

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Aug 28 2018 (08:15)   AC travel in Railways to soon become more comfortable

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Entry# 3755863   News Entry# 353613         Tags   Past Edits
NEW DELHI: Your travel in the AC coaches of Indian Railways is likely to be more comfortable soon. The national transporter has decided to refurbish all the AC coaches every six years to give a premium and comfortable feel for the passengers.
Railway Board in a circular has told its zonal offices to refurbish AC coaches in every sixth year along with the periodic overhauls. As per the plan, all AC coaches including two-tier AC, three-tier AC, first class and chair car will be refurbished during the sixth year from the date of induction. Both old ICF coaches and modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches will be covered under the project. The cost of refurbishing is likely to be around Rs 10 lakh per
Fares for the AC trains have increased significantly in the last few years, but the facilities have not improved in the same proportion. The railways was forced to take this decision as it was flooded with complaints with poor condition of facilities in AC coaches. With this revamp, the railways plans to enhance the life of the coaches and provide better passenger comforts.
In 2017, then railway minister Suresh Prabhu had initiated a project to refurbish all 40,000 rail coaches including sleeper coaches at a cost of around Rs 30 lakh each by 2022-2023. Under the initial plan, coaches were to be revamped by modifying berths, installing reading and LED lights, modular bio-toilets, fire and smoke detection system, more mobile and laptop charging ports and small LCD screens in Shatabdis.
But the project is now been modified due to paucity of funds. Due to shortage of funds, Railways has now decided to currently revamp the AC coaches in the first phase.
Railways set to come up with revised flexi-fare scheme next month
The railways is all set to come up with a revised flexi-fare scheme next month to bring in some relief for passengers, who, in some sectors pay as much as airfares for the premium trains, sources said. They said the ministry is planning to suspend the scheme temporarily as an experiment during lean months in some identified trains as they are seeing occupancy as low as 30 per cent.
They said another option being considered is revising the scheme as per a formula used in the Humsafar trains in which the first 50 per cent berths will be sold at a 15 per cent higher price than the base price. The slab will change with every 10 per cent of the berth sold thereafter.
Similarly, the government is also mulling options to bring in special discounts under the scheme in less busy routes.
The final shape for such a move will be announced by next week, an official said as its removal would also lead to refunds for advance bookings.
Recently, a CAG report had come down hard on the railways for the flexi-fare prices and it stated a comparison with airfare for 13 sectors showed that travelling in airplanes was cheaper than in train for a large number of routes.

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