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Old 13th May 2014, 20:53   #16
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
No one has stopped the Govt. from fare hikes to match up with the need of the time. Like the random inflation in everything in the life of a common man in India, this too would have flared up some protests and then slowly been adjusted to our daily lives.

But sir, running a scheme like this is daylight robbery in my eyes.
If they want to introduce this DPP, I am very much fine with it.
But, wouldn't they run it on some sectors, some classes (local, sleeper, ac 2 or 3), see the public response ? Where is the due dilligence done in this govt. project ?
I feel bad that only AC class travellers are targetted with this scheme.

Nevertheless, I have booked my favourite airlines ticket - Indigo to Bhubaneswar and back.
Why do we travel by trains, because it is cheaper though it takes more time. These trains have been in existence for some time now. When you make the booking, irctc clearly tells you that it is a premium train and the fare is more, so where is the case for looting/scams. Further tickets are generally available in these trains as mentioned by mittal_v2002 even at the last minute when the air fares may be too expensive.

Sharing an example: only Jet and AI Express operate a flight from Chennai to Trichy, a distance of approximately 350 kms. The lowest rate charge for the AI Express connecting flight at 0100 Hrs is around Rs. 3000/- whereas Jet charges Rs. 15000/- . If we were to say the Railways are looting us and are perpetuating a scam how about the Jet organization.

Finally the decision is yours of whether you want to fly or travel by train.
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Old 13th May 2014, 21:08   #17
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

All over the world in the developed countries in Europe and of course, the US, long distance Trains are synonymous with greater leisure, luxury and hence, tend to cost quite a bit, compared with fares on say the low cost airlines for the same sectors.

It is only here that populist pressures cause the government to create such heavy subsidies on train travel.
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Old 13th May 2014, 21:46   #18
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

These Premium trains are for those who do not have the luxury of planning early, for various reasons and who travel with family.

Take my example, I have to travel from Calcutta to Bangalore by 19 or 20 May. It was planned only two weeks back. What options do I have?


All normal trains are heavily waitlisted.
Air fare is around 10-12K per head. 2 adults + a kid = 30-36K.
Premium train opening fare is equal to Howrah-Bangalore Duronto train tatkal fare (second AC) = 3700. 2 adults + a kid (free) = 7400

That's what I took.

Thanks.
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Old 13th May 2014, 22:05   #19
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by Guite View Post
This is quite an eye opener. Think of fuel saved and less pollution if trains did all that freight task than trucks. Also less congestion on the roads, considering most highways pass through towns and cities.
Yeah. Trains are more efficient than trucks. In US, they carry all consumer goods except perishable food items. Yes, the congestion on highways would reduce. But on the flip side, I don't think the government would have bothered to build good highways if it were not for the amount of traffic.
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Old 13th May 2014, 23:15   #20
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I compared tariffs of some flights and some premium trains for the same route and same date of journey and could not find any route where the train was more expensive than the flight. I think what most of you are comparing are flight rates which are well in advance and train fares with date of journey in next 7 days. Also i think this is good initiative by the railway. First off, they are hardly earning anything from passenger trains,so they should have done this a long time ago. Secondly nothing can be done about the sleeper and second class tickets because most people traveling in those classes cannot afford higher costs,as a matter of fact,lot of people travel without any ticket at all. Ive seen TTE's take out people who make all kinds of sorry faces to let them travel.
Why i think this new concept is right is because,
1. These prices are not exorbitantly high(as compared to other modes of travel)
2. These are still way cheaper than last minute flights
3. People who cannot plan journeys in two months advance can also book on these trains.
4. They cater to the increased demand during vacations.(just like all hotels increase their fares during vacations.
5. These trains are at par with Rajdhanis and Shatabdis.
6. And finally these are extra trains, this gives us additional options,its not like they've increased prices of all the trains.
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Old 14th May 2014, 07:37   #21
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Really surprised at the cost difference. It would be good if the pricing engine, calculates it to be less than the flight charges for the same sector.

It should not lead to a state where the regular trains are ignored and all new trains happen to be premium trains. Its like what happened in Chennai, where the regular MTC buses were replaced by limited stop services, and few other categories, that today its difficult to see a normal bus on a few routes.

Also the premium trains also should be premium. No use packaging old trains/coaches to create new premium trains. Recently when I traveled on the Shatabdhi from Combatore to Chennai, I was aghast seeing the state of the coach, the cleanliness inside, the taped cracked glasses, seats with broken tray mechanisms that it falls onto you lap. I even raised it with the ticket examiner, only to be told that it was problem of maintenance of the trains. Infact the the tray in front of my seat was secured using paper cups stuck to the sides. While I agree the Shatabdhi does not fall into this category of premium trains, it is none the less a premium train.
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Old 14th May 2014, 07:51   #22
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I know about the Dynamic pricing of Premium trains and believe it is a good idea. However if the fare goes well beyond a flight ticket - it just does not make any sense. IMHO, the maximum price of such tickets should be at-least 30% less than the standard airline fare on that particular given day.

Railways in this country are for service and not profit - but they should still be able to charge the customers on a actual cost basis.

Slightly OT: We really need to improve the state of our Railways, it is in absolute shambles and this is coming from someone who loves trains.
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Old 14th May 2014, 09:51   #23
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Thanks everyone for the views and inputs.
The best response I feel is yours, Pratush - 'Railways are for a Service and not Profit.'
Ofcourse Govt can make profit. But by this mean is not appreciated.
Just now saw that there is a Sleeper Class in the Premium Train too.
So for a Lower Middle class income group, a Rs.800 ticket can shoot upto Rs2000. Isn't that bad ?
The need of the hour is more trains on routes that are in high demand.
The direct train - Prasanthi express runs full house everyday between Bhubaneswar and Bangalore. The Bhubaneswar - Yeshwantpur runs full house.
All trains are packed. Why not more trains ?
Is running a dynamic pricing the only long term solution available ?
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Old 14th May 2014, 10:57   #24
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Most people overlook the simple fact that railways is not meant for the affluent. It is run more as a service than a profit seeking corporate. Its mission is firmly embedded in the socialist ethos enshrined in our Constitution. So it is pointless comparing the immense service provided by Indian Railways to profit seeking entities in Western world / advanced countries.

Having said this, GOI should also allow private rail networks run by profit seeking corporates who can be more punctual in train running times and provide better creature comforts. Affluent sections can opt for this instead of the govt run railway network.

Last edited by WindRide : 14th May 2014 at 11:25.
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Old 14th May 2014, 12:40   #25
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Generally premium trains are run during peak periods when air fares go through the roof. Last Diwali, almost all airlnes including Indigo and Spice Jet were selling at 20,000 Rupees per person (yes you heard right) or upwards very close to departure on routes like Bangalore Delhi. In such cases you wiill find these premium trains the only alternative and in most cases cost effective as well. If bus operators on regular services during holiday season can charge upto Rs 2000 on a relatively short Kochi Bangalore route (airline fares on the same peak period touch 15000), then why are we so touchy about Indian Railways also trying to cash in on the opportunity????

In case you do not like dynamic priicing on Indian Railways , you always have the option not to travel and fly instead if you get a cheaper fare . Occasionally the pricing does go wrong and you have the situation like Indigo flight being chepaer than the premium train.

This is not exclusive to airlines. It happens when airlines announce "special fare" sales. Recently Spice Jet offered fares as low as Rs 300 (again you heard right) for a brief period on certain routes. How about people who booked months ahead on the same flights from 2000 Rs upwards ???

Last edited by TKMCE : 14th May 2014 at 12:41.
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Old 14th May 2014, 13:15   #26
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I am all for Railways (or any service provider for that matter) having the right to set their own fares. But shouldn't there be two sides of the coin ? If the Railways can set their own pricing and also increase other charges at will, is there not also a protection / guarantee to be provided for the consumer ? Eg. you charge a big premium on certain trains for supposedly premium service, but in the event of delinquency (delay, bad food, a/c not working etc), what is the recourse the customer has ?

What if the premium train gets delayed and takes as much time as the normal train, what is the value-addition ? Should the railways not also guarantee arrival time and in the event of missing it, refund the customer for every hour of delay or so ? If such a system is built in, I don't mind Railways charging whatever they want. In the end, anyway it is all about demand vs supply.
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Old 14th May 2014, 13:21   #27
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Has anyone travelled or booked tickets on such a Premium train ?
Is it really worth paying that much money for 24 hours of travel, where one can fly by paying less.
Booked 2 tickets yesterday for 15th May i.e tomorrow for 2500/- for 1 ticket in 2 AC. Travelling from Delhi to Pune , total journey time is approximately 21 hrs.

A the time of booking it had 100+ seats available.

Given the only fastest option available is Pune Duronto , this looks a good alternative
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Old 14th May 2014, 13:30   #28
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Guys relax. This special category of trains is targeted towards those who had to plan suddenly and wanted the comfort of having reserved tickets. The pain of taking a tatkal ticket is well known right?

No one is forcing anyone to book in that train right? It is all to do with choices.

And as for railways being there for service and not for profit? Really? How will any company survive without profits? More govt subsidy?

Now if you booked your tickets and then irctc said its a premium train so we are charging you extra after you booked then i can understand your pain. But it's right there stating that it is premium and it is more expensive.

And as for bringing in more and more trains, well do we have the infra for it to handle all that?
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Old 14th May 2014, 14:15   #29
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Just some food for thought: what would be the total cost of a trip, train vs plane? I don't know how it works in Bhubaneshwar, but the time and money taken to reach the airport at departure city, as well as the time and money taken to reach home in destination city should also be considered.

From home to home, how much time and money would take in Soumyajit's case?

Of course, one has to consider the delay a train picks up on the way. I have travelled by train six times in the last 15 years. I have never ever experienced a train journey where the train started on time and reached with minor delay.
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Old 14th May 2014, 14:20   #30
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Booked these premium trains & wondered if their algorithm is the same as what you guys are mentioning or is mentioned on IR website.

Route :
Delhi-->Mumbai (onward)

1. Opened for booking 1 week before the journey.
2. Costed about 2.4K.
3. I booked this within 20 minutes of opening. Seats remaining were 400.

Mumbai-->Delhi (return)

1. Was open for booking about a week before I booked.
2. Costed about 4.6K.
3. Seats remaining were 400+.

As you can see : return ticket was double the price of the onward with more seats remaining & that too for a farther date of journey.

So the dynamic pricing is not just dependent on seats left or days left to travel.
I think it also depends on when the tickets opened for booking.
If you book it on Day 1, it'll be cheaper & keep climbing on subsequent days irrespective of the seats left.
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