Keeping in mind the growing patronage of AC three-tier coaches, Railways are planning to increase their number in existing trains to reduce the swelling waiting lists.
The move comes as the AC-III class has turned out to be most sought after with time, effectively registering a growth of over 21 per cent during the first 10 months of this financial year, higher than any other class.
"Though we are periodically introducing more AC three-tier coaches depending on rush, now we intend to add more of such coaches permanently and increase their numbers in coach composition," said a Railway source.
He indicated that trains with year-round rush could see 10 to 12 AC three-tier coach out of 22 to 24 coaches that make a train rake.
While 3.43 lakh passengers travelled in AC three-tier in 2008-09 fiscal, the number has touched 3.68 lakh till January this year, a growth of 21.01 per cent.
In terms of earnings, the growth has been 19.02 per cent, with Railways making Rs 3.116 crore from AC three-tiers.
In comparison, the passenger growth in sleeper class has been a steady eight per cent, the source said.
Indications are that forthcoming Railway Budget could lay emphasis on accelerating production of AC three tier coaches.