This summer, people might choose to travel by train rather than fly to their holiday destinations in India.
This is what the Railways are expecting as the hike in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price could result in domestic air travel becoming costlier.
“There will be pressure on AC I and II tier coaches as those taking flights are expected to travel by trains due to the hike in fuel prices,” said R.N. Verma, general manager, Western Railway (WR).
Central Railway (CR) too feels that the hike in ATF price is likely to hit airlines.
“There are chances of an increase in train ticket demand due to the rise in fuel prices. We have introduced newer and more number of trains across the country,” said CR chief public relations officer, S. Mudgerikar.
Anticipating the holiday rush, both CR and WR will run extra special trains this year.
CR will run 1,528 holiday special trains as against the 1,512 trains last year.
WR will run 364 holiday
special trains and might announce more soon. Last year, the WR ran 1,217 holiday special trains.
On Friday, WR opened bookings on the holidays trains headed to north and west of the country. “We will be running more special trains as and when we get permission from other zones,” said a WR official, requesting anonymity.
The CR has also introduced seven new routes from Mumbai to Asansol, Haridwar, Shirdi, Hyderabad and Guwahati, comprising 388 services. Bookings will begin from March 11.
Last year, the CR had earned Rs. 60 crore from these holiday special trains and this year, it expects a rise of 2 per cent.