Railways

Railways charges premium despite train running empty

MUMBAI

Those against the premium pricing policy — running trains with fares that fluctuate as per market demands — have for long called it a railway-endorsed fraud. If the prices of tickets of the 02065 CST-Ernakulam premium train that left Mumbai in the wee hours of Sunday were anything to go by, it might just be that.

Despite a mere 125 seats of the total 1,128 getting sold, the tickets were priced at premium rates, completely defying the principles of market forces.

With officials saying that the price band of a premium train is calculated as per a formula and then displayed on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, there is pretty little a common passenger can do.

The train has 12 sleeper coaches having 72 seats each and four AC three-tier coaches with 66 seats each. While the normal price for a 3AC ticket on this route is about Rs1,800, passengers had to pay the premium rate — Rs2,300. Similarly, against a normal range of Rs800 for sleeper tickets, the train that left on Sunday had tickets priced at a premium of Rs1,000.

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