On an average, about 4.63 lakh tickets are booked via IRCTC each day, and the demand increases considerably over peak holiday season. The group says that premium trains are being been implemented to meet this demand.
Features: The special trains will have only AC 2 Tier and AC 3 Tier classes with Rajdhani-like facilities, including catering. The Indian Railways experimented with this model during Christmas season last year. It looks like they intend to implement this model during every festival season, when demand exceeds the average.
Ticket fare: The dynamic fare pattern is similar to the one used by airlines with it going up with rising demand. The fare applicable to each day/transaction is indicated at the time of booking on the IRCTC’s e-ticketing website.
How is it different from normal trains:
- Advance Reservation Period (ARP) of these trains will be a maximum of 15 days.
- The ticket fare follows a dynamic-pricing model, and fares will be much higher.
- Tickets can be booked only online, via IRCTC’s website. It will not be sold over the reservation counter.
- No wait-list tickets will be issued to passengers on these trains.
- Tickets won’t be refunded unless the train gets cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
- No concession is applicable in this train, irrespective of their age. However, after charting, vacant berths will be offered at the current-day booking counters in the originating stations.
IRCTC has been brushing up its services by introducing various features. Lately, it announced an online option for passengers to book retiring rooms at railway stations, and introduced the e-wallet scheme in November 2013. Other recent developments include revamping its journey planner, introducing a Windows app, and launching an e-commerce platform.
This sounds like a win-win situation for passengers who are often willing to pay a premium rate to get confirmed train tickets. Rather than approaching agents, one can now book their tickets on these premium trains. The biggest issue however is the one has to do this through IRCTC, which is notoriously incompetent. It is extremely difficult to make a booking during the day the company should invest more time and resources to improve its services so that people will be encouraged to try out such premium services.