Equipped with many facilities, the much awaited Humsafar Express with dynamic fares will be launched todayon 16 December New Delhi.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will flag off the fully AC-3 service train between Gorakhpur-Anand Vihar from New Delhi through video-conferencing.
However, passengers have to shell out 1.15 per cent more as base fare than the normal Mail/Express AC-3 rate since the train is equipped with coffee/tea/soup vending machine, hot and refrigerated pantry and other facilities in each cabin.
"Since manufacturing cost of these coaches with modern facilities is higher than the normal AC coaches there has to be special fares for these services, a senior Railway Ministry official said.
According to the Humsafar fare structure, 50 per cent of the tickets will be made available for passengers on 1.15 per cent higher base fare and thereafter 10 per cent increase on every 10 per cent tickets sold on subsequent bookings.
For example, the normal Mail/Express AC-3 base fare is Rs. 960 which will become Rs. 1104, an increase by 1.15 per cent.
After 50 per cent sale of total tickets, the base fare will go up to Rs. 1214, an increase of 10 per cent for 10 per cent berths then it will again surge by another 10 per cent increase for subsequent 10 per cent bookings.
Finally, the highest fare will be Rs. 1656, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the base fare for the last 10 per cent berths.
Other additional charges like reservation fee, superfast charges, service tax, will be levied separately. While the passengers have to pay for their meals if booked, separately, the bedroll is inclusive of fare.
Prabhu had announced during the presentation of Rail Budget 2016-17 that there will be seven Humsafar Express trains for inter-city overnight journey, with many additional facilities which are otherwise not available in normal AC-3 coaches.
CCTV, GPS-based passenger information system, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, mobile and laptop charging points with every berth are some of the features on Humsafar trains.
Besides, Humsafar will have improved aesthetics with new interior and exterior colour scheme presenting a futuristic look with the use of vinyl sheets similar to Maharaja Express coaches. It will also have integrated braille displays.
Indian Railways has introduced surge fares on Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains from September 9.--PTI