Indian Railways Hikes Special Trains Fares by 35%
MADURAI: Passengers travelling in special trains be prepared to burn a hole in your pocket. You cannot enjoy the luxury of spending the same amount you dole out for a Superfast or Express train to travel in a special train.
The Indian Railways has silently hiked the fare for special train, while it used to be on par with the fares of Superfast and Express trains till recently. Official sources said the ticket fares of special trains have been increased up to 35 per cent over and above the normal train charges. The revised fare structure for all special trains, they say, was introduced to boost the passenger earnings.
Quoting a recent circular issued by the railway board, a senior official said the hike in the ticket fare for special trains ranges between 30 and 35 per cent compared to the regular trains. A second class (sleeper) ticket in a special train operated between Madurai and Chennai costs an average of `375 as against `285 in a regular train. As regards third AC and second AC, the fares have seen a rise of `215 and `280, respectively.
Catering to the demand of the passengers, especially during the festivals and summer holidays, the Southern Railway operates around 200 special trains a year from Chennai to southern districts.
The unannounced fare hike in special trains has not gone well with the passenger associations. Edward Jeni, secretary of the Kanyakumari District Railway Users’ Association, says, “Cashing in on the patronage borne out of huge demand, the railway administration is fleecing the passengers. Special trains are no special. It is unfair.”