The Railways on Wednesday ordered restoration of fares for travel in air-conditioned 3-tier economy class (3E), which was withdrawn last November by merging it with AC 3-tier.
As per the order, despite the reinstatement of the fee, the Railways will continue to provide chadars to the passengers.
With this order, an earlier circular has been withdrawn wherein the fare for AC-3 tier economy class ticket was brought at par with AC 3-tier ticket fare. Earlier, the price of the bed sheet was cited as the reason for equating the fare. According to the order, passengers who have booked tickets online and over the counter, will be refunded the additional amount for tickets already booked. Starting 3 economy class in September 2021, Railways had announced that the fare in these new coaches will be 6-8 percent less than the normal AC-3 coaches.
It was termed as the best and cheapest AC travel service in the world. Before November 2022, passengers could book AC-3 economy tickets in a separate class of ‘3E’ in some special trains in which the Railways have made provision for them.
Officials said at present there are 463 AC-3 economy coaches while there are 11,277 general AC-3 coaches. According to him, AC-3 economy coaches have better facilities for passengers than normal AC-3 coaches.
Officials said that by merging the AC-3 tier economy class, passengers had to pay around Rs 60-70 extra. While the normal AC-3 tier coach has 72 berths, the AC-3 tier economy class has 80 berths.
Railways earned an income of Rs 231 crore from this in the first year of introduction of this category. According to statistics, from April to August 2022, 15 lakh passengers traveled in these coaches, which generated an income of Rs 177 crore.
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