Following huge losses to the Railways on account of dynamic pricing of railway tickets on the premuim special trains, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has now stepped in to turn them into “fully tatkal” special trains.
The minister also has plans to run these Tatkal Special trains throughout the year, especially during the vacations.
Under the premium concept, 10-15 tickets in each class of travel would be dynamically priced in tandem with the demand situation and can be booked online through the IRCTC website.
“The bookings are very quick and price of the tickets changes between the time of enquiry and the time of booking. In a fraction of second, the pricing goes up to 10 times the actual base price,” said a senior officer from the Central Railway.
Passengers complained that at 5-10 times the price of a normal ticket, these premium trains were too expensive. “These bookings comprised only 30 per cent of tickets available and it was a huge loss to Indian Railways,” said another official.
During an event in the city, Prabhu said the concept had been introduced keeping in mind commuters who could not plan their travel in advance.
“Whereas for the Tatkal Special Trains, the commuters are charged only for Tatkal, which is a nominal charge. It is planned to run these throughout the year and especially during vacations to ease the burden of pricing on the commuters. The tickets for these trains can be booked by the internet through IRCTC and at the booking windows too,” added Prabhu.
“On May 8, 2015 the Central Railways had started first ever fully Tatkal Special Trains between Lokmanaya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Madgaon. After the success of Tatkal Special, Central Railway has decided to change the classification of the Premium Special trains which were running on dynamic pricing basis to Tatkal Special trains for the benefit of passengers,” said Narendra Patil, Chief PRO, Central Railway.