Humsafar to hit tracks this October, fares 20 percentage higher than Express, Mail
NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of the introduction of surge-pricing on tickets of premier trains, the Railways on Sunday said a Humsafar class of train with high-end facilities would be launched next month, with fares around 20 per cent higher than the normal Mail and Express trains.
Humsafar trains will have new interior and exterior colour schemes, with a futuristic look. It will also have vinyl sheets similar to that used in Maharaja Express coaches. Besides, it will also have integrated braille displays. It is a special-class train for inter-city overnight journeys with many facilities which are otherwise not available in normal AC 3-tier coaches. The additional features include close circuit TV, GPS-based passenger information systems, fire and smoke detection and suppression systems and mobile/laptop charging points in every berth.
Sinking heels, Railways defends surge pricing
Notwithstanding the criticism, the Railways defended the introduction of the ‘surge pricing system’ introduced in premier Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto class of trains from last Friday, saying bookings and ticket sales continued to remain high after its implementation.
A Railways official put up a spirited defence in the face of public outcry and Opposition parties’ attack, maintaining that even after the hike, passenger fares in AC classes remained below airfares and were even less than the fares charged by Volvo buses.
The official said the Railways had earned `84 lakh and `81 lakh more on September 9 and 10 respectively from the flexi-fare system. As per the new system, passengers will be shelling out between 10 and 50 per cent more under the surge pricing.