The Railways on Saturday said the fare of its new air-conditioned three-tier economy class coaches will be 8 per cent less than the existing 3AC coaches, giving the best travel experience at the cheapest price. The fare of the new coaches is 2.4 times the base price of the existing sleeper class of mail and express trains, officials said, adding 50 such coaches have been given to different zonal railways.
“Now, since the fare is fixed, these coaches will be attached in existing mail express trains. In trains which are running with maximum length, these coaches will replace sleeper class coaches,” they said.
The base fare for up to 300 km will be Rs 440 which is the lowest according to the distance, while the highest base fare is Rs 3,065 for 4,951 to 5,000 km, they said.
The latest zone to get these coaches is the North Central Railway which is all set to use them in train no. 02403 (Prayagraj-Jaipur express) from September 6 and bookings have been opened from Saturday, officials said.
These passenger-friendly coaches have 83 berths and the fare is lower as compared to regular 3AC coaches, they said.
The newly introduced 3AC economy mail/express/superfast coaches will have normal child fare rules as applicable for existing 3AC coaches of mail/express trains. Concession or free complimentary passes shall be at par with the existing 3AC coaches of mail/express trains, they said.
The eligibility of privilege pass/PTO for railway employees shall be at par with the eligibility in 3AC coaches of mail/express trains.
According to officials, the booking of tickets against passes issued to Members of Parliament and rail travel coupons (RTCs) issued to MLA/MLCs, fully reimbursable warrants/vouchers shall be permissible as per the existing provision of 3AC coaches for mail/express trains.
Cancellation and refund rules and all other terms and conditions of travel will be at par with the existing 3AC to CC class, they said.
The air-conditioned three-tier economy coaches are being seen as a gamechanger as they will offer the best AC travel at the cheapest price, the railways had claimed earlier.
The new 3AC economy class coaches will have 83 berths as against 72 in the regular 3AC coaches -- an increase of 15 per cent. The regular 3AC coaches have two side berths, which will be increased to three in the new coaches.
According to the railways' plan, around 806 new coaches are to be rolled out by this fiscal, either by this year or at the beginning of next year.