The railways Tuesday rationalised the proposed ticket prices for the Train 18, reducing the AC chair car fare to Rs 1,760 from Rs 1,850 and the executive class fare to Rs 3,310 from Rs 3,520 for a Delhi-Varanasi trip, an official order said.
However, there would be no concessions on tickets in the soon-to-be-launched Vande Bharat Express or Train18 like the ones given to senior citizens in other trains and only full-fare adult tickets would be issued, the railway order said.
On the return journey, the chair car ticket would cost Rs 1,700 and the executive car ticket will be priced at Rs 3,260, it said. The fares are inclusive of the catering service charges, the order said.
The inaugural run of the train will be on February 15 when it is flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Delhi.
Its first commercial run will be on February 17. For its commercial run, the train will leave Delhi at 6 am and reach Varanasi at 2 pm. On the return journey, it will leave Varanasi at 3 pm and reach Delhi at 11 pm, the official order said.
The train will run all days a week except for Monday and Thursday, it said.
Sources said the railways decided to reduce the fares after it was felt the ticket prices were much higher than in the Shatabdi Express, especially in the chair car. "We wanted to ensure higher affordability and make it a compelling proposition, so we decided to reduce the fares," a senior railway official said.
Now, the chair car fares are 1.4 times the base price of the Shatabdi trains running the same distance and the executive class fares are 1.3 times of first class air conditioned seating in the premium train, the railway order said.
Vande Bharat ticket fares
The ticket fares between Delhi and Kanpur will be Rs 1,090 instead of Rs 1,150 in the chair car and Rs 2,105 instead of Rs 2,245 in EC for a distance of 447 km, the order said.
Between Delhi and Prayagraj (642 km), the ticket price for CC class will be Rs 1,395 (instead of Rs 1,480) and Rs 2,750 (instead of Rs 2,935) for the EC class.
Between Kanpur and Prayagraj (195 km), the price for CC will be Rs 595 instead of Rs 630, and for EC it will be Rs 1,170 instead of Rs 1,245, the order said.
The prices between Kanpur and Varanasi (319 km) for a CC ticket will be Rs 1,020 instead of Rs 1,065 and an EC ticket will cost Rs 1,815 instead of Rs 1925.
The train will have differently priced meals as well.
While passengers travelling from New Delhi to Varanasi in the executive class will be charged Rs 399 for morning tea, breakfast and lunch, travellers in the chair car will need to pay Rs 344 for the same.
Those travelling from New Delhi to Kanpur and Prayagraj will have to pay Rs 155 and Rs 122 for executive class and chair car, respectively.
From Varanasi to New Delhi, the passengers will be charged Rs 349 and Rs 288 in the executive class and chair, respectively.
While there will be no option to opt out of meals for the passengers of the train, the ones travelling its first or final legs have been given that option.
Passengers can save Rs 222 on CC tickets and Rs 244 on EC tickets by opting out of the meals provided by the IRCTC.
The Vande Bharat Express is a luxury all air-conditioned chair car and will take around eight hours to travel between Delhi and Varanasi, halting at only two stations enroute – Kanpur and Prayagraj.
The Vande Bharat Express, manufactured under the 'Make in India' initiative at ICF, Chennai is India's fastest train, having attained speeds of over 180 kmph during it trial runs. On the Delhi-Varanasi route however, the section speed restrictions would mean that the new train set will hot a maximum speed of 130 kmph.