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Old 14th May 2014, 14:37   #31
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
........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 ? ......
You just nailed it Sir !!!

Ohh, and by the way, I happened to travel by Shatabdi some 2 years back on Amritsar - Delhi route. Although the food was good, the coach was not of Shatabdi standards. Weird half-tinted glasses with water seepage between the two layers are a major anger point for me.
All we could do is complain and live with it.

But I'm sure, some may say, even flights don't refund for delays. I have no words for this argument !!

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
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.
Here is my split for 1 passenger, 1 way. Not considering my parents picking me up and dropping me at airport or station. Its within 7 kms in Bhubaneswar.

Bangalore to Bhubaneswar

Train: (Prasanti Express, Bhubaneswar-Yeswantpur Super Fast or Howrah-Yeswantpur SuperFast
Tickets: 2AC - Rs 2200 (Booked 2 months in advance)
Taxi: Rs 350
Total: Rs 2550
Delays: Mandatory 1 hour delay, either ways. 7 Years of experience.

Flight: Indigo Airlines
Tickets: Rs 4000 (Booked 2 months in advance)
Taxi: Rs 1000
Vayu Vajra (BMTC Airport Volvo): Rs 250
Total: Rs 5000
Delays: Zero Delay in last 7 years.

Premium Train: Yeswantpur - Bhubaneswar - Yeswantpur
Tickets: 2AC - Rs 5800
Taxi: Rs 350
Total: 6150
Delays: No Idea.
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Old 14th May 2014, 15:17   #32
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
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.
Thanks to this, the common mass can commute to far off locations seeking employment. Because of this, the people from rural areas do not have to think about the cost of travelling back home. They rely on Railways.
As someone said, Railways is a service.

Someone also mentioned that the price rise is usually targeted towards the AC commuters. Whats wrong there ? That's a good idea infact. People who can afford AC can go for it. For those who are on tight budget, they can continue with the sleeper class and enjoy the subsidized rate of travel. Still the AC coaches are the first to be fully booked.
AC is a luxury provided and they charge for it.

EOD, we blame the government for the high subsidies it provides (because we have the bear a part of it) and when they try to increase prices to reduce this, we again blame it
We are used to making the government our punching bag for everything.

I know there is a lot of pilferage of the amounts utilised (corruption), but then that's a different topic altogether.
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Old 14th May 2014, 20:04   #33
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

The idea as a concept makes sense. I personally know in my family as well as relations, aged folks who don't mind spending 12 hrs or so in a train and feel this is comfortable as well in comparison to a flight (probably as they are used to it)

However the execution of this idea seems to be the problem. Are the railways saying that unless these astronomical costs are borne, they cant afford to run a train. Is this cost coming from actual costs of running the train i.e. Fuel, Service costs etc. or has their algorithm to calculate the fares gone beserk.

Railways is an important part of connectivity for majority population in India, one that cant be replaced by flights or road transport and IMHO it needs to be subsidized depending on Income growth, inflation etc. I believe the govt. has over done this in the last 10 years under pressure from a coalition partner, milking the goods and AC passengers . This can only work untill fares become comparable to flights and we will see loss of demand and subsequently revenue from this segment. I have seen recently that the fares of 1st class AC are almost comparable to what flights offer.
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Old 14th May 2014, 21:46   #34
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
Thanks to this, the common mass can commute to far off locations seeking employment. Because of this, the people from rural areas do not have to think about the cost of travelling back home. They rely on Railways.
As someone said, Railways is a service.

Someone also mentioned that the price rise is usually targeted towards the AC commuters. Whats wrong there ? That's a good idea infact. People who can afford AC can go for it. For those who are on tight budget, they can continue with the sleeper class and enjoy the subsidized rate of travel. Still the AC coaches are the first to be fully booked.
AC is a luxury provided and they charge for it.

EOD, we blame the government for the high subsidies it provides (because we have the bear a part of it) and when they try to increase prices to reduce this, we again blame it
We are used to making the government our punching bag for everything.

I know there is a lot of pilferage of the amounts utilised (corruption), but then that's a different topic altogether.


I am all for railway travel cost subsidies for the really poor and less privileged.
Personally, I think they should simply bring back the old First Class AC and charge a Premium for it. I guess, as a consumer, just for that old style, high quality experience, many of us would not mind paying.
The strange quasi socialistic attitude of the government in the 1970's and 1980's caused them to completely remove this old first class, on the grounds of it being too 'elitist'. Heck, none of that nonsense thankfully applies nowadays so they really ought to pursue that segment of consumers.
I remember the old first class from the early 1970's where each coupe compartment even had its own private bathroom. Amazing for those who value privacy, exclusivity and dont mind paying for it. Somewhat like those lovely First Class/ Premium Business/ Flat bed seats in the long distance aeroplanes.
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Old 15th May 2014, 07:55   #35
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I am all in for a mixed-class long distance train.
A train that comprises of AC 1st Class, 2AC, 3 AC, Sleeper and General.
AC 1st Class can be charged at par with flight fare.

But running a Premium Train, with all seats/berths costing at par with Flight fare, not acceptable. What will happen to the Shatabdis and Rajdhanis ? They will become the Tier II trains then?
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Old 15th May 2014, 09:33   #36
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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
But running a Premium Train, with all seats/berths costing at par with Flight fare, not acceptable. What will happen to the Shatabdis and Rajdhanis ? They will become the Tier II trains then?
Let us not distort facts here.


You have not mentioned what was the fare on Indigo airlines between Bhubaneshwar and Bangalore at the the time you found this fare of 5800 Rupees on the PREMIUM train on 21 May.

I checked today, the PREMIUM TRAIN fare for the same day on 2A (the highest class offered, there is 3A and Sleeper also) is at 5800 and now there are only 14 seats left.

For the same date 21 May, Indigo is selling at a fare of 9469.


You cannot compare how expensive a Premium train ticket on the HIGHEST class offered on what seems to be the HIGHEST slab is compared to the lowest fare offered on Indigo for the simple reason that the PREMIUM trains open for reservation two weerks before departure not six to nine months out like the Airlines do. The starting fares at the lowest slab will on the day the booking opens (two weeks out) will be less expensive than the lowest Indigo or any other airline fare and that is what counts.

Also for the benefits, dont know whether you noticed, Prasanthi Express stops at 43 stations enroute before it finally reaches Bangalore City while the Premium train stops at just 5 stations before it reaches Yeshwantpur. If nothing else that alone makes it worthwhile the premium I pay over the other trains!!!


Full marks to Indian Railways for this inititative and hope this will extend to more and more routes.
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Old 15th May 2014, 09:46   #37
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
I am all in for a mixed-class long distance train.
A train that comprises of AC 1st Class, 2AC, 3 AC, Sleeper and General.
AC 1st Class can be charged at par with flight fare.

But running a Premium Train, with all seats/berths costing at par with Flight fare, not acceptable. What will happen to the Shatabdis and Rajdhanis ? They will become the Tier II trains then?
These trains are not REGULAR trains. Rajdhanis and Shatabdis are regular trains. The purpose of these premium trains is to reduce the rush during peak seasons, and it is for people who can afford it.These trains will not be running during non peak season.

For me, this works. I never plan my journey in advance. I visit Mumbai as and when I can and when I have too in short notice.

On Mumbai-Delhi route we have 2 Rajdhanis, 1 Duronto, 2 Garib raths and a Yuva express which take close to 16-17 hours apart from 10 other regular trains. Getting a ticket on any of these trains 5-4 days in advance is just next to impossible during peak seasons, tatkal is the only option available for people who cannot plan their journey in advance.Trying to book tatkal is just a painful process and you are not sure of getting a confirmed ticket.

For a 2 AC ticket on Rajdhani including Tatkal charges is approximately 2900/-, paying 4,000/- or 4,500/- for these premium trains it is still cheaper than Air fare plus the expenses involved in traveling to Airport from home and from Airport to home at destination .

This time I am travelling to Pune from Delhi and booked my 2 AC ticket on a premium train for 2,500/- just 2 days before the date of journey.

In your case, it looks expensive. But the case might not be the same with people travelling on some other routes. This is just an additional service from Indian Railways to clear rush but for only those who can afford and are limited on options.

Last edited by sinharishi : 15th May 2014 at 09:53.
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Old 15th May 2014, 11:38   #38
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I am a unabashed lover of Indian Railways. Even with all its ill-maintenance and poor management, it is rendering unmatched service to a vast majority of the Indian populace . Hope it stays in the Government's control forever !
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Old 16th May 2014, 18:11   #39
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
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?
Well said! Yeah I mean - where else will the Railways make any money? They hike the price and protests will start. And we are people who can afford even taking flights - so what are we cribbing about here?
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Old 23rd May 2014, 19:25   #40
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

This is very strange! right? People doesn't complain much when the freight charges are increased but makes lot of noise when the same happens to passenger trains.
I feel both affect us , one direct and the other indirect and we don't really care about the indirect ones. Every freight charge increase will be passed on to end consumers like us and we end up spending more money and may be if we do a math , it would be more than these premium ticket charges
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Old 25th May 2014, 02:52   #41
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

I think the fares of the topmost classes of the railways i.e 1st AC has been higher than economy class of airlines for some time. Considering that 1st AC offer you more privacy, comfort, more luggage allowance and maybe more elaborate food service it is not beyond reasonable that its fares will be higher than the economy class of airlines. Moreover the upper classes of the railways often have to make for the short falls due to artificially low second class fares. One statistic that was going around was that 80% of IR passenger travel in 2nd class but account for only 20% of the passenger revenues. Additionally railways also have to deal with mandated fixed costs due to huge numbers of its employees, unnecessary cost burdens due to its role as a social vehicle for welfare rather than that of a commercial entity. The dynamic fares in airlines means somebody pays less than the actual cost , some pays the actual average cost and someone pays more. Noone has mentioned how much someone who is on the higher end is actually paying. We look at the discount fares which account for a small percentage of airline passengers and compare it with that of the railways which usually has uniform fares except for tatkal tickets. An apples to apples comparison is difficult, but even 3tier AC offers more in terms of comfort than economy airline travel albeit at a lower speed. If we cram people into double decker AC coaches like economy classes then surely the individual fares would work out to be lower than the discount fares in airlines. Additionally if we free the railways from some of its unnecessary financial burdens, run it as a commercial entity, allow more dynamic and flexible ticket pricing it will earn profits even at competitive ticket prices.
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Old 25th May 2014, 12:15   #42
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Just came across this thread by chance. Someone had mentioned that there will be no unwanted passengers as WL not allowed. I am a regular in Pune Howrah Duronto, preferably in 2AC. I have been travelling in this route since the last 14 years and Duronto was an advantage. So here goes my observations :-

What it was

At the time of inception, service was exceptionally good, with limited stoppages, quality food and quality stuff. A definite adherence to time was the added positive along with the less time (in comparison to Azad Hind). Ticket availability though decreased with time as more and more people got aware of and it definitely is good for the railways.

What it is

Third class quality of food to start with. News paper comes only if you ask for it, and that too after repeated begging. Provision of water bottles has been reduced (as certain sections misuse) but then even if needed the first answer is "you have to pay" [as if I am not gonna pay] and then the repeated reminders. The coach attendants earlier used to be amiable, the current lot seems to be direct Chambal decedents (not with the looks but with the behavior); just tell them NO when they come to collect money before off-boarding the train and you are bound to hear choicest of words. [Money collection is not as per rule, but rules read good in books, practical realization]

And most shocking will be this :- Passengers board freely in mid stops in 3AC, as the stoppages are well known. But off-course I will not ask how much did they pay (as ticket booking for Duronto is only from source to destination).

Theft :- Earlier this was unheard off and Duronto was considered the safest. This time, me along with wifey was travelling in 3AC and wifey's mobile's SIM and some cash was stolen at Tata Nagar (train stopped at both Jharsuguda and Tata Nagar). I had personally challenged the suspect but he just vanished in thin air. Later on after inspecting his goods I retrieved the mobile phone. (Yes, now a days, only SIM are stolen. I came to know about this from a far relative of mine who is in KP, Kolkata Police)

TTE :- As we were just at the first cubicle, I observed that the TTE himself opened up the vestibule connecting doors, on many occasions, without any concern for security etc. Complaint books are available but at that time, for some unknown reasons, the said book was not traceable. I was also informed that TTE responsible for the particular compartment needs to be present at the time of making entry in the complaint book.

Rail Police :- I had asked them to open up the bag of the suspect after he had fled. Their reply was, "Possibly there is bomb, lets wait to reach Howrah." [as if he knows that the bomb will not explode ]

Howrah Police :- Sorry I had another train to catch [But I am sure we all are wise enough to understand by now, that there is an organised racket very much active in this route]

So the obvious question is, "Why I am saying all this?" And the very obvious answer is, "Starting a service is comparatively easier than maintaining the standards."

Premium trains / Duronto / Express :- All have their own share of fame, which unfortunately vanishes after a few runs.

What we truly need is not "named" services but "effective" services.
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Old 17th June 2014, 15:12   #43
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Got an official list of rules.

https://www.irctc.co.in/betaDoc/Sali...%20Pricing.pdf

Salient Features of Premium Special Train on Dynamic Pricing.pdf
Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!-capture.jpg
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Old 20th April 2015, 12:46   #44
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

Services on Premium Trains ;

Hi,

I am trying to book on Premium Train from BLR to KYQ. Now it throws me an amount of INR 14500 for a couple. Now that goes beyond the regular numbers used to be on Indian Railways.

Apart from confirmed tickets, how is the service quality like food, security etc.

If assuming I do book the same, Do we get the lower berth seats in the main cubicle or the side lowers are also included in the booking, even after making the huge payment ?

And any possibility of the fare getting reduced in the "n"th moment.

Looked at the dates 5 days from now and 12 days from now, the amount still remains the same !

On another note, In tatkaal booking, does anyone know the number of seats available in 2A "per coach" in Indian Railways ?

If we book in tatkaal, are we sure to get atleast "one" lower berth ? And since the distance is a very long one, what is the possibility of getting the berths within the same coach ?

Any guidance in these questions is highly appreciated
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Old 30th July 2015, 00:59   #45
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Default Re: Indian Railways: Premium Train Fare higher than a Flight!

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Originally Posted by lambuhere1 View Post
Services on Premium Trains ;
Hi,
I am trying to book on Premium Train from BLR to KYQ. Now it throws me an amount of INR 14500 for a couple. Now that goes beyond the regular numbers used to be on Indian Railways.
With what I know

~ 5 seats in 2A for tatkal
~ 8 seats in 3A for tatkar
~ around 10 in SL for tatkal

Thanks

Last edited by ampere : 30th July 2015 at 07:35. Reason: Formatted quoted post
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