Indian Railways now offering discount on train tickets!

The Indian Railways is planning to lure more passengers by revoking the flexi-fare scheme in some trains and offering discounts in others. The move comes just at the start of the festive season, when the airlines’ load factor is packed due to discount schemes.

The railways plan to give graded discounts in fares for all classes of current flexi-fare trains, four days prior to the scheduled date of the train starting from the originating station. Flexi fares increase the price of tickets as occupancy increases.

The railways would give a discount of up to 20 per cent in the fares of premium trains with occupancy of 70 per cent, while a discount of up to 10 per cent will be given in the trains which have a booking rate of 70-80 per cent.

However, there will be no discount on the fares of the premium trains which have an occupancy rate of more than 80 per cent.

According to a Railway Ministry senior official, the scheme has been discontinued in 15 trains, where the average uni-directional monthly occupancy was less than 50 per cent throughout the year.

The official said that the railways had decided to discontinue the flexi-fare in a pre-defined lean period of three months in 32 trains with uni-directional monthly occupancy between 50-75 per cent throughout the last fiscal.

The decision assumes significance as it will enable the railways to lure more passengers that it had lost to other means of transport, especially the aviation sector.

In addition, the flexi-fare scheme will continue in over 100 trains in which uni-directional monthly occupancy is more than 75 per cent throughout the year.

The official also said that the changes shall be made on an experimental basis for six months. “Decision to continue it will be taken after accessing its outcome,” the official added.

On September 9, 2016, the railways had introduced flexi-fare for premier trains: 44 Rajdhanis, 52 Durontos and 46 Shatabdi Express trains.

Under this, the base fare increases by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold, subject to a prescribed limit. There was no change in the existing fare for first AC and economy class.

But on December 19, the Railways started providing 10 per cent rebate on any seat left vacant after the preparation of the passenger chart.

The Railways has reviewed Flexi Fare Scheme and introduced following changes:

Discontinuation of Flexi-fare in trains with average monthly occupancy less than 50% throughout the previous year.

Discontinuation of Flexi-fare, in lean period of 3 months, in trains with average monthly occupancy between 50-75% throughout the previous year.

Maximum current cap of 1.5 times to be reduced to 1.4 times in all classes.

To increase the occupancy of less patronised classes (2A, 3A, CC etc.), Graded discount of 20% on last fare on all trains with Flexi Fare and Humsafar Trains where occupancy of a particular class is less than 60% (4 days prior to scheduled departure of the train). Further, 10% discount will be offered as per the table given below:

Upto -70% occupancy : 20% on last fare

70-80% occupancy : 10% on last fare

Above 80% occupancy : Nil

Changes shall be implemented from Advance Reservation Period (ARP) i.e. 4 months after making necessary changes in Passenger Reservation System, on an experimental basis for six months to be further extended after assessing its outcome

List of trains with occupancy less than 50% (2017-18) from which Flexi Fare will be removed in 2018-19

Train no. Train type and Train Name

12006 Shatabdi: Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi

12012 Shatabdi: Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi

12037 Shatabdi: New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi

12038 Shatabdi: Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi

12043 Shatabdi: Moga(Ludhiana)-New Delhi Shatabdi

12044 Shatabdi: New Delhi-Moga(Ludhiana) Shatabdi

12047 Shatabdi: New Delhi-Bhatinda Shatabdi

12048 Shatabdi: Bhatinda-New Delhi Shatabdi

12085 Shatabdi: Guwahati-Dibrugarh Shatabdi

12086 Shatabdi: Dibrugarh-Guwahati Shatabdi

12087 Shatabdi: Naharlagun-Guwahati Shatabdi

12088 Shatabdi: Guwahati-Naharlagun Shatabdi

12277 Shatabdi: Howrah-Puri Shatabdi

22205 Duronto: Chennai-Madurai Duronto

22206 Duronto: Madurai-Chennai Duronto

Annexure B

List of trains with occupancy between 50%-75% (2017-18) from which Flexi Fare will be removed in lean period of 2018-19

Train No. & Train Name

1. 12005 KALKA SHATABDI

2. 12014 AMRITSAR SHATABDI

3. 12016 AJMER SHATABDI

4. 12018 DEHRADUN SHATABDI

5. 12020 SHATABDI EXPRESS

6. 12025 SHATABDI EXP

7. 12026 PUNE SHATABDI

8. 12030 SWARNA SHATABDI

9. 12031 AMRITSAR SHATABDI

10. 12032 AMRITSAR SHATABDI

11. 12039 KGM NDLS SHT

12. 12041 SHATABDI EXPRESS

13. 12042 NJP HWH SHATABDI

14. 12045 NDLS CDG SHATABDI

15. 12046 CDG NDLS SHATABDI

16. 12213 DURONTO EXPRESS

17. 12214 YPR DURONTO EXP

18. 12219 SC DURONTO EXP

19. 12223 LTT ERS DURONTO

20. 12224 ERS LTT DURONTO

21. 12227 INDORE DURONTO

22. 12228 MUMBAI DURONTO

23. 12239 JAIPUR DURONTO

24. 12240 JP MMCT DURONTO

25. 12243 SHATABDI EXP

26. 12244 SHATABDI EXP

27. 12278 SHATABDI EXPRESS

28. 12437 RAJDHANI EXP

29. 12441 BSP NDLS RAJ EX

30. 12442 BILASPUR RJDHNI

31. 12453 RNC NDLS RAJ EXP

32. 22414 NZM MAO RAJ

Flexi Fare Scheme was launched with effect from 9th September, 2016. The scheme generated high revenue however initially there was a drop of passengers which picked up later on. Further, to rationalise the fares an 8 member committee was formed to review the scheme and make it more passenger friendly. The review of the scheme has been done based on the recommendation of the committee, Comptroller and Auditor General’s report, and representations from passengers.

[With Agency Inputs]

}