The fares in these trains are abnormally high as railways allows up to 300% increase in the base fare and other charges across both AC and non-AC berths, which may be capped at a lower level in the coming days.Currently, only two Suvidha Express trains run on the Mumbai-Patna and Jaipur-Yesvantpur. While the former operates twice a week, the latter is a weekly service. The premium express train service was introduced in 2014 on busy routes and only confirmed and RAC tickets are issued.
IRCTC, the railways ticket booking website says the 2AC ticket in Mumbai-Patna Suvidha Express trains is Rs 9,395 till December 8 and similarly in the case of Jaipur-Yesvantpur Suvidha Express, Rs 11,230 is the one-way 2AC fare till February 3. The train fare is higher than the air fare. For example, a one-way flight ticket from Jaipur to Mumbai on November 25 is Rs 7,549 and the one-way cheapest airfare from Mumbai to Patna on November 22 is Rs 7,022.
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Although a number of these premium express trains were introduced on several high demand routes to provide confirmed tickets for passengers willing to pay more, the services were drastically reduced after getting adverse feedback with regard to high fares, officials said.
To beat the festival rush the railways is running additional trains. During the current festival season, the railways has operated 2,423 trips of special trains since October 1, carrying 36 lakh passengers. “Last year during October 1 and December 31, which is peak demand period, there were 2,614 trips. This year, we have increased it by three times and there will be a total of 6,754 trips to clear the rush,” said an official.