Railway officials monitoring the performance of the recently launched premium train between Mumbai and Delhi say the experiment, though not a runaway success, is still good enough for the concept to get a foothold in the Railways’s scheme of things.
The train – the country’s first with fluctuating ticket prices – has seen a robust occupancy since New Year and officials claim that more than the money it has brought in it has managed to free the congested Mumbai-Delhi route from touts.
On January 1, the train saw 195 of its 208 2AC berths filled, while 687 of the 720 berths in the 3AC coaches got sold. The January 3 leg as on Thursday evening showed the train having an occupancy of 190 2AC seats and 705 3AC berths. The sales for the train’s Mumbai-Delhi leg on January 5, as on Thursday evening, was 162 in the 2AC class and 565 in the 3AC class.
“This train has a good future if we run it once or twice a week, especially on Fridays. Since the tickets are available only online and with a very short booking period, the chances of touts getting hold of the system is almost nil,” said a senior railway official.