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More premium trains likely in Rail Budget

Last updated on: July 04, 2014 12:41 IST

More premium trains likely in Rail Budget

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Anusha Soni

After the successful introduction of premium trains on 17 routes, the railways might announce more such initiatives in the coming rail Budget.  

Earlier, the rail ministry had identified 40 busy routes, which had persistent waiting lists at origin and destination.

The coming rail Budget is likely to have more premium trains for new routes and premium holiday and festival specials to cater to the burgeoning demand.

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Image: Maharaja's Express
Photographs: Courtesy, IRCTC

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More premium trains likely in Rail Budget

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The fares for these trains started from the base tatkal fare of ordinary trains and rose with demand curve. At peak, fares could be competitive to air fares.

The railways earns about 43 per cent extra profit from a one-way premium train journey.  

"Wherever there is demand, we will run the premium trains on those routes. Our project so far has been successful and we are studying other routes; more routes will be added this year," said a senior railway official. 

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Image: A tourist in the Maharajas Express.
Photographs: Courtesy, IRCTC

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More premium trains likely in Rail Budget

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The railways registers a profit of about Rs 5 lakh through a Rajdhani or Shatabdi train for a long distance route such as Delhi-Mumbai.

A premium train can rake in a profit of about Rs 7,00,000.

Though premium trains come as a respite, they are still incapable of making up for the annual loss of Rs 26,000 crore (Rs 260 billion), incurred on passenger train operations. 

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Image: Tourists on-board the Maharajas Express.
Photographs: Courtesy, IRCTC

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More premium trains likely in Rail Budget

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As the passenger volume is on the decline, experts say premium trains are not only a potential source of revenue, but will help the railways increase passenger traffic volume. 

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Image: The Maharajas' Express is one of the six luxury trains in India that promises to offer the best in travel, traditional food and hospitality.
Photographs: Courtesy, IRCTC

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For the first two months of financial year 2014-15, railway  passenger revenues grew about 15 per cent, while the volumes dropped about one per cent.

Even in the last financial year, passenger volumes dropped one per cent on year-on-year. 

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Image: Maharajas Express has a capacity to carry 88 guests, 14 guest carriages are divided into 20 deluxe cabins, 18 junior suites, 4 suites and one presidential suite.
Photographs: Courtesy, IRCTC

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