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JAMMU PREMIUM TRAIN TICKET FARES JUMP 50%

The booking of tickets for the Premium special train for Jammu today drew a good response with the dynamic fare system in place for the same seeing a more than 50 per cent jump in the rates for AC-II and AC-III tickets. "Till 5 P.M. there were 563 berths (booked) out of a total of about 1,000 berths on the Premium train for Jammu on March 14," said a senior railway ministry official. The Delhi-Jammu Premium Express, also known as the Jai Hind Express, will run from here on March 14, 16 and 21. Bookings for the special train started today. The official said that going by the response all seats would likely be sold out by tomorrow. While a Second AC ticket went up to Rs 2,332 as against the base price of Rs 1,320, a Third AC ticket fetched Rs 2,109 when its base price was Rs 1,164. With the twin views of meeting the peak demand for travel ahead of Holi and earning additional revenue, the cash- strapped railways had decided to run two superfast Premium trains from here for Jammu and Mumbai. Tickets for the Premium trains can only be booked online on the IRCTC website and rates are determined by the demand. The response for the Mumbai special, however, has not been very encouraging as only 64 berths were booked till evening today for travel on March 14. An AC-II ticket fetched Rs 2,910 against a base price of Rs 2,510 while the Third AC ticket touched Rs 2,175 against a base fare of Rs 1,825. The Delhi-Mumbai Premium Express will run on March 14 and 16. For the return leg, the Mumbai-Delhi Premium Express will be available on March 15 and 17 while the Jammu-Delhi Premium Express will run on March 15, 17 and 22. Tickets for the Premium trains can be only booked as per the availability as no waitlisted tickets will be issued for these, said the official. Taking a cue from the airlines, railways decided to run Premium trains on the dynamic fare system for busy routes. Before Christmas last year, railways had run a Premium train to Mumbai on an experimental basis. The response to that was good as the train was booked to capacity and fares jumped by 30 to 35 per cent. Encouraged by that, railways announced in this year's Rail Budget that it would run such trains on 17 busy routes.

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