Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw fact-checks stunning claim on sleeper coaches
95.3% of the 390.2 crore people who travelled on trains between April and October 2023 were in general and sleeper classes, and only 4.7% in air-conditioned coaches
NEW DELHI: Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday rebutted widely-circulated reports on social media that attributed the crowded trains during the ongoing festive season to claims that the railways have reduced the number of general and non-AC sleeper coaches in trains, saying the claim was completely false and that there has been no change in the composition of trains.
“The reports of the number of sleeper coaches being reduced in trains leading to problems for passengers opting for non-AC berths are false. There is a standard composition of coaches in a train since the time new LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches were introduced and all trains have 22 coaches with the same configuration” the minister said.
“There is no change in the standard coach composition in a train,” Vaishnaw added. “A train has six to seven sleeper coaches, four general coaches, one or no AC 1st Class, one or two pantry cars, two 2AC coaches, six 3AC coaches and one power car or a guard coach.”
According to the railways, 95.3% of the 390.2 crore people who travelled on trains between April and October 2023 were in general and sleeper classes. Only 4.7% of passengers travelled in air-conditioned coaches.
The minister also underlined that the railways significantly increased the number of additional train trips this festive season between October 1 and December 31 from 2,614 last year to 6,754 additional trips this year. This, he said, was nearly a threefold increase in one year.
“We have already operated 2,423 trips from 1 October. 36 lakh passengers have travelled in the current festive season, which is more than double as compared to last season,” he said.
The minister said the number of additional train trips is decided based on a study conducted every year before the peak travel season starts. “Reservations and waiting list trends are monitored three months before the season begins. A call is taken on planning for the additional train trips accordingly,” he said.
Checking on trains
The railways said it has also started a drive to ensure people do not carry inflammable articles on trains and have caught firecrackers during checking at New Delhi, Anand Vihar, Jabalpur and Vijayawada stations. An official said 67 trains have been checked since Wednesday, three cases registered and two persons arrested.
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