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Old 28th January 2009, 10:49   #46
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So has anyone seen any train going back to 3/3/2 pattern. The survey look good and is a professional one and is on the same lines as the one I saw around the end of November in Mumbai Howrah Mail (Via Nagpur).
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Old 28th January 2009, 11:43   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxima
Come on. Tatkal is an excellent concept where the IR makes money out of people who CAN afford to pay more for the same services, in most cases because of their affordability are too lazy to book in advance.
I don't really think there is any connection between a person's affordability and his being lazy. And let me explain why Tatkal is a big joke (on us, the consumers) the way it is now.

I have been using Tatkal from the time it was introduced. When it was introduced, the aim was to cater to genuine emergency travel and the rules were :

1) Booking opened a day in advance - for tomorrow's ticket, booking opened today morning 8AM.
2) A flat fee of Rs50 was charged extra per person and no refunds permitted on cancellation.
3) Only 1 coach in each train was marked for Tatkal - 72 berths in sleeper.

This was an excellent concept, because you never know when you have to travel in an emergency and if you could know it atleast a day before, you could get a ticket. And a premium of Rs50 is OK for SL tickets.

However, when IR saw that people really took to the concept of Tatkal, they decided, why not exploit this to turn a convenience into a revenue generator. So, they modified the rules so that :

1) Now you can book 5 days in advance - I dont see 5 days in advance being an emergency situation.
2) Increased the charges to Rs150. Please note that in some cases like Chennai-Trichy, Chennai-Blore etc, the premium charged for Tatkal is MORE than the ticket cost itself. Oh yes, they do have a brief lean period of 2 months in a year when the tatkal cost is Rs75.
3) Instead of a coach, now they keep apart a %age of total berths in the train for tatkal, which means passengers who book in advance eg. 2months early also get WL or RAC because a chunk of the seats are blocked for Tatkal which will be released only if no one opts for Tatkal.

If this is not a joke, I am not sure what is. And the joke is on us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxima
If it is really an emergency, which occurs once in a while, I am sure one can pay extra. Whats the problem with that? Does not the same hold good for booking flight tickets? You book in advance and pay less. Book late and pay more. Simple.
Since I travel weekly, I book tickets for 3 months in advance, so you can't call me lazy. But if you are charging premium for late bookings, why can't you give incentives for advance booking like you have in other countries ? Let the tickets start out cheaper and progressively get costlier.

And BTW, you get penalised for booking in advance. Earlier the cancellation charges was Rs20 for a ticket (upto 6 berths). They now increased it to Rs40 per person on the ticket. When I book via the net, printing the ticket on my stationary, I do not see why IR should charge me Rs40 for cancelling a ticket.

So, while they can gloat that they did not hike passenger fares for years, this is how they could manage to run the show without increasing fares.

Lalu's favourite analogy is "Milk a cow to the max". But it is good to ensure that the cow is not over-milked.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 28th January 2009 at 11:44.
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Old 28th January 2009, 11:55   #48
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Quote:
supremeBaleno : 1) Now you can book 5 days in advance - I dont see 5 days in advance being an emergency situation.

They now increased it to Rs40 per person on the ticket. When I book via the net, printing the ticket on my stationary, I do not see why IR should charge me Rs40 for cancelling a ticket.
+1.

1) 5 days in advance is normally not an emergency. Even if one knows on Day -5 of a sudden travel requirement, he can use a Tatkal scheme booking on day -3.

Why an increase in cacellation charges ? A person cancelling a ticket is actually helping some one else to travel. Cancellation charges must at most mirror reservation charges.

And reg internet booking -isnt it 40/- per seat ? not per booking .. Esp when an internet booking is helping reduce load on the IR booking centers.
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Old 28th January 2009, 12:31   #49
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My dad and I rode the train last year - just for the experience.
I've decided to not do that again lol.
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Old 28th January 2009, 14:49   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor
And reg internet booking -isnt it 40/- per seat ? not per booking.
@condor, I did not understand your question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlblkz06
My dad and I rode the train last year - just for the experience. I've decided to not do that again lol.
What train ? From where to where ? Which class of travel ? What was it that made you decide not to do it again ?

I like train travel - my only grouse is the trains not being fast enough. I am not asking for Japanese Shinkansen speeds, but atleast an average speed of 100kmph would be good. The 800km distance from Chennai to my home in Kerala currently takes 13 hours, which is an average speed of 60kmph. Which is the average speed I manage while driving to Kerala.

If average speed is upped to 100kmph, it would take just 8 hours ie. get on the train at 10PM -> have a good sleep -> be home at 6AM. Yeah, if wishes were horses, ......

P.S. : One of the reasons this kind of speed is not possible on the Kerala sector is the innumerable rivers/streams and the bridges across them, which are pretty ancient and not able to handle such speed.
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:00   #51
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Okay. IR has gone one step forward. They now have a feedback survey for the this side-seating changes.

PROFORMA FOR OPINION POLL
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:21   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly
So has anyone seen any train going back to 3/3/2 pattern.
The Tvm-Chennai train I took on 8-Feb had a mix of both these types of coaches. Some 6 coaches were the normal 8-berths-per-bay type, while the remaining 6-odd coaches had the lousy 9-berths-per bay.

And as luck would have it, my coach happened to be the latter type.
I was allotted the topmost berth, but since I know that it is the most claustrophobic of the 3 side-berths, I took the middle one which was vacant. On a previous journey in the top berth, I woke up at night feeling claustrophobic & panicky and had to jump out of the berth to regain my composure - I so dread my weekly train travel after this stupid re-design.

While our intelligent Railway minister and bureaucrats are at working on more such ideas, I have one 'awesome' suggestion for them, which will make them accomodate 18 more people in 1 SL/3AC coach. And this is apart from the 9 extra added via the 3-tier side berths.

Here is the plan. Instead of having 3/3/3 pattern as per the latest coaches, make it 4/4/3. I am sure you can move the existing berths to accomodate another one. Now, you might ask, "Won't it be difficult for the passengers to get into the uppermost berth?" .

For that, the solution is that the other 3 passengers would physically lift the uppermost passenger and just slide him down in a lying position into the berth. When he wants to come down, the same passengers lift him down.

More revenue for IR, more invitations for Laloo to speak at IIMs - basically everyone is happy. Who anyway cares about the customers in a monopoly like the IR ?
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:31   #53
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Quote:
If average speed is upped to 100kmph, it would take just 8 hours ie. get on the train at 10PM -> have a good sleep -> be home at 6AM. Yeah, if wishes were horses, ......
As it is, existing maximum speeds is 110KMPH. Average speed goes down mostly because of the stops, a necessary evil in Kerala due to huge number of "local" passengers. Given the road network, travelling bus is simply impossible for certain stretches. The number of season tickets on Aluva - Ernakulam, strech, for example, has gone up phenomenally up in past 3 years or so.

@Fountainheader - even that survey sucks!!!.

The questions are loaded in their favour. I take the side berths so that I can sit up since my destination is reached usually between midnight and 6AM. Just imagine even if you stand up in the coach during these hours, chances are that you may end up wihh a sound thrashing (people may mistake you for a miscreant).
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Old 10th February 2009, 21:51   #54
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As per latest news reports, the Govt has decided to do away with the side middle berths
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Old 11th February 2009, 14:13   #55
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Guys,

I'm a tad worried after reading this thread.I've booked my travel on irctc to Bhubaneswar by Faluknama on Feb 13th, and as per my preference have been allotted Lower berth # 36.
This works out to lower berth on the traditional 8-seat pattern. But if the coach has the new 9-seat pattern, where would I be---Side upper? I dread to think of it. To make matters worse, even my return is on berth # 36. The online ticket says '36 Lower'.
Any clues?
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Old 11th February 2009, 15:22   #56
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@vnabhi, if you are unfortunate to get this new-type coach, then yes, No.36 will work out to be a Side-Topmost berth. You could request the TTE for a change - he might oblige. Or, maybe your train might not even have these new coaches - not all trains have them.
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Old 11th February 2009, 15:28   #57
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Thanks SB, I'm waiting with bated breath!
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Old 11th February 2009, 16:06   #58
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Venu, can imagine your predicament. I dread to think of getting a seat on side upper since we fall in tall and heavily built category and i sure would suffocate in that tiny weeny space..LOL

Goodluck to get a seat of your choice and happy journey!
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Old 11th February 2009, 17:27   #59
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SB and Condor:

Agreed that the reservation and cancellation charges should be lowered and the tatkal duration should be lowered to 3 days. But the tatkal concept is 'basically' good. Anyway, a private air bus (non-a/c and non-volvo) costs more than a comfortable and in most cases faster train (sleeper class). So I think the charges are fair.

They have been reporting profits for the first time in many years, and they are the single largest employer in India if I am not wrong. Looking at all this, I am sure they do good to India's economy, much more than some of the other govt. organisations.

They have a lot of faults, yes. And a lot of areas of improvements. But everyone does.
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Old 11th February 2009, 17:44   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxima View Post
...They have been reporting profits for the first time in many years, and they are the single largest employer in India if I am not wrong...
Mmm... correction: They are the largest employer in the world!
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