Railways Announces Fare Hike Effective From Jan. 1
Passengers walk past a train at Bhubaneshwar Railway Station in Bhubaneshwar,India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Railways Announces Fare Hike Effective From Jan. 1

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On the New Year's eve, the railways announced fare hike across its network, excluding suburban trains, effective from Jan. 1, 2020, according to an order issued on Tuesday.

While suburban fares remain unchanged, ordinary non-air condition, non-suburban fares have been hiked by 1 paise per kilometre of journey.

The railways also announced a two paise/km hike in fares of mail/express non-AC trains and four paise/km hike in the fares of AC classes.

Premium trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto trains are included in the fare hike.

In the Delhi-Kolkata Rajdhani which covers a distance of 1,447 km, the hike at the rate of 4 paise per km will be around Rs 58.

According to the order, there will not be any change in the reservation fee and superfast charge and the hike in fares will not be applicable to tickets already booked.

The last such hike was announced in 2014-2015 when fares of all classes of trains were raised by 14.2 percent and freight charges by 6.5 percent. However, since then, the railways introduced the flexi-fare scheme which significantly raised fares on select trains and launched trains like Vande Bharat Express and Tejas Express which have relatively higher fares. Trains with dynamic pricing like Suvidha Express were also introduced.

The railways in a statement said the revenue generated by the "marginal" increase in fare will be used for the modernisation of the network.

"Indian Railways has continuously endeavoured to augment passenger experience through modernization of coaches and provision of improved facilities over stations. Further, the burden of 7th Pay Commission on Indian Railway has necessitated rationalisation of fares," it said.

"In order to expand passenger amenities and facilities at various railway stations and trains, it has become imperative to increase the fare marginally without overburdening any class of passengers. Fast modernisation of Indian Railways will be achieved through this fare revision," it said.

It also said the suburban passengers have been left out of the hike keeping the "affordability concerns of daily commuters". This class constitutes 66 per cent of total passenger segment of the railways.

The increase in fare will be on tickets bought on or after Jan. 1, 2020 and no excess fare (difference of fare) will be charged from passengers who have booked tickets before this date.

The hike will have no effect on the catering charges, officials said.

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