Not all Rly zones have increased ordinary, unreserved train fares yet

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on February 26, 2021

Increase in passenger fare for short-distance, unreserved trains has been implemented in a few railway zones that include Northern Railway, North Central Railway, South East Central Railway and South Eastern Railway.

As of now, fares have not been hiked for the suburban trains in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, where these operate.

Where they have been hiked, the charges match that of second-class unreserved fares in mail and express trains.

According to Railways’ data for fiscal 2020, post Covid-19, these trains, where the fares have been increased, constituted a small portion of the total trains. Where as prior to Covid-19, passengers in ordinary trains constituted 23 per cent and contributed to six per cent of the revenue. But, suburban trains have much cheaper tickets, as they carry about 56 per cent of passengers.

Railways’ earnings

An indicator of what this could mean for Railways – subject to the resumption of more such trains – is the average money earned by Railways for moving each passenger for one kilometre in each such segment. This is at 40.11 paise for second class mail and express trains (including sleeper), 23.78 paise for second class ordinary trains and 20.73 paise for suburban (all classes) trains, according to the data.

The move comes in the back drop of increased Covid-19 cases and discourage travelling unless necessary. It will also help Railways bridge some revenue gap in post-Covid-19 times.

Railway sources also point out that the fare of mail and express trains is cheaper than those charged by buses. For instance, train charges for Delhi (Shakurbasti) – Palwal is ₹40 while it is ₹63 in buses. Similarly, for Palwal-Ghaziabad, train fares is ₹45 while it is ₹80 for buses; for Delhi-Saharanpur the fare is ₹70 for trains and ₹187 for buses. For Delhi-Bareili, the

Published on February 26, 2021

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