Thursday, April 17, 2014

SCR’s First Set of ‘Premium’ Superfast Special

South Central Railway has recently launched ‘Premium’ Superfast Special trains for the first time o­n its system. This fully reserved service is aimed to meet the heavy demand for Rail travel during holidays/busy season o­n popular routes. It is primarily targeted at that segment of passengers, who are willing to pay premium fare for confirmed berths at the time of booking itself and enhanced standards of service.

      Keeping in view the heavy rush of passengers as 3 continuous holidays fall o­n April, 18th, 19th and 20th, the first ‘Premium’ Superfast special (Train No.02204) has been planned to depart at 23:00 hours o­n 17th April from Secunderabad to reach Visakhapatnam at 08:50 hours o­n 18th April.

     This ‘Premium’ special has got an overwhelming response from the rail passengers.All the 814 berths o­n this train have been sold out 36 hours before its scheduled departure time, i.e. by 16thApril, 2014 itself. Since the fare structure is dynamic, the fare o­n this train service has been programmed to increase based o­n the level of bookings and the number of days left over at the time of actual booking. Despite the fare being o­n the higher side for most of the berths compared to the normal fixed fares o­n other regular trains, this service has found acceptance from the travellers as reflected by the 100% booking of all berths well before the scheduled departure time.

            The total earning potential of a normal superfast express train between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam with a similar composition would be around Rs.4.77 lakhs. However, the actual earnings accrued from the bookings o­n Secunderabad to Visakhapatnam ‘Premium’ Special amounted to Rs.8.60 lakhs. Thus, an additional revenue of Rs.3.83 lakhs has been generated by a single ‘Premium’ service, which is 80.4% higher compared to that of a normal service.

 On return trip, this ‘Premium’ special (Train No.02203) will depart from Visakhapatnam at 21:10 hours o­n 20th April and will arrive at Secunderabad at 07:00 hours o­n 21st April. The bookings o­n this trip have also been very encouraging and 100% of the berths have already been sold out o­n this Premium Service too.

      These trains will have o­nly two stoppages – at Rajahmundry and Samalkot Stations in both directions. The train consists of 14 coaches – 8 sleeper class, 3 AC-3 tier, 1 AC-2 tier and 2 SLRs.

    This ‘Premium’ service is designed to be o­ne of the fastest trains o­n this popular route, linking Visakhapatnam to the State capital. It covers a distance of 701 kms in 09 hours 50 minutes o­nly. It is the best (minimum) running time of all the available train services with stoppages o­n this sector. While compared to Garibrath Express, the travel time of ‘Premium’ special between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam is lesser by 1 hour 25 minutes, it is lesser by 2 hours 20 minutes compared to Godavari Superfast Express. It thus saves precious time for the travellers.

             Encouraged by its success, SCR has already announced another pair of ‘Premium’ Superfast special train services between Secunderabad and New Delhi, for which bookings are under way. ‘Premium’ Superfast Special Train No.02723 leaves Secunderabad at 10:10 hours o­n 25th April, 2014 and will reach New Delhi at 13:10 hours o­n the next day. o­n return trip, this ‘Premium’ Special is scheduled to leave New Delhi at 19:05 hours o­n 26th April, 2014 and will reach Secunderabad at 22:05 hours o­n the next day.

 The Unique features of ‘Premium’ train service are:

1)  No waitlisted tickets shall be issued. There will be no refund except when the train is fully cancelled o­n railway account due to unforeseen circumstances. Adult fare shall be charged for all passengers irrespective of their age. No concession shall be applicable to this train. Ticket modifications/issue of duplicate ticket etc. are not permitted.

 2)  The booking of tickets can be done o­nly through IRCTC’s portal o­n internet. Tickets will not be issued manually at reservation counters. However, vacant berths available after charting will be offered at current day booking counters at the train originating stations.

 3)  The fare structure for these trains is variable and follows a dynamic model. The basic fare of this train is fixed at the corresponding Tatkal fare of the regular Superfast trains. The fares will vary as per the intensity of demand/availability of vacant berths and the number of remaining days left. The rate will rise to an upper limit fare as the bookings increase. The fares applicable for each day/ transaction shall be indicated at the time of booking o­n the IRCTC’s e-ticketing website.