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PREMIER TRAINS IN 17 BUSY ROUTES

Encouraged by the success of the recently introduced premier AC superfast special train to Mumbai with dynamic fares, Railways today said such service could be introduced in 17 other busy routes. "We have identified 17 sectors where we could introduce such special service.... These are the routes where there is a constant demand with high waiting list," Railway Board Chairman Arundendra Kumar said. While he refrained from giving further details, sources said some of these routes could be the Delhi-Bangalore, Delhi-Kochi, Delhi-Howrah, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Howrah-Chennai and Chennai-Coimbatore. While the premier superfast to Mumbai -- having Rajdhani like facility including catering-- is a complete AC train, Kumar however, said in some of the other sectors, the rake composition could be a mix of AC and non AC coaches. The premier superfast was introduced on December 24 between New Delhi and Mumbai where fares came at a premium as the dynamic fare mechanism was introduced in the passenger service for the first time. Railways has made windfall gains with the introduction of the train, which saw up to a 30 per cent jump in fares in AC-2 and 35 per cent in AC-3. An AC-2 tier fare fetched Rs 3232 per ticket, an increase of Rs 737 from the base price of Rs 2495. Similarly the AC-3 ticket was Rs 2442, a rise of Rs 627 from the base price of Rs 1815. The success of the service prompted railways to extend the running days of the train by another three trips. Dynamic fares have been introduced for the first time by Railways to shore up its finances from passenger segment and woo more and more passengers from airlines by providing better facilities and services. Railways has vouched for punctuality of the special train which has no stoppages in the route.

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