The country’s first train to have a dynamic fare scheme — the premium air conditioned 22913/22914 Mumbai-Delhi special train — displayed its first price fluctuations on Monday.
Having started at a price band of Rs2,175 for 3AC and Rs2,910 for 2AC on Saturday, the prices by Monday evening had risen to Rs2,197 for 3AC and Rs3,357 for 2AC.
In the dynamic pricing system — which is used widely by airlines — the price of thousands of tickets are determined by computer servers and may go up or down in the days before the journey, according to demand.
According to officials, by Monday morning, 48 seats were available in the train’s 2AC section and 421 for its 3AC section for the train’s December 26 Mumbai-Delhi journey. For its Mumbai-Delhi journey on December 29, the seat availability was 154 for 2AC and 549 for 3AC. Prices could shoot up further as the demand for the train increases.
“It remains to be seen how high the ticket prices will go. But we believe this is the future of ticketing and we wouldn’t be surprised if the railways add more such trains in future,” said an official.
On Monday, a team from Western Railway (WR) left on the Rajdhani to bring the train to Mumbai.
The train is expected to arrive in the city by Tuesday, said sources. The train will be manned by WR staffers.
According to a statement released by the railway ministry, the booking shall be available only through the Internet (IRCTC portal) and not through counters at reservation centres. Passengers are required to carry the prescribed original photo identity card which is used at the time of booking. Most importantly, the fares applicable for each day or transaction would be indicated at the time of booking on the IRCTC e-ticketing website.
“We will not issue any waitlisted tickets and there will be no refund on a ticket unless the train gets cancelled. Moreover, there will be no age concession on this train. Everyone will be charged the adult fare, which itself will fluctuate,” said an official.