Ministry of Railways, over the last few years, have been executing prestigious projects for improving the overall traveling experience of rail passengers including running of premium high speed trains, station and premises development, and providing state of the art amenities to its passengers on trains as well as at stations.
To further professionalise the services, Railways have entrusted IRCTC, it’s commercial tourism and catering arm and a two decade old service organization to operate two premium passenger trains for general public using the air conditioned chair car rakes of Tejas trains.
These two trains will ply on Lucknow – Delhi – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – Mumbai- Ahmedabad routes for 6 days in a week and will primarily cater to the business travellers traveling frequently between these cities, besides catering to tourists.
Trains would be equipped with all modern on board facilities for ensuring a high level of comfort to the passengers.
The first train to start with IRCTC management will be operated in Lucknow – New Delhi – Lucknow sector having a total journey time of 6 hours and 15 minutes. This train will have one Executive class air conditioned chair car having 56 seats and nine air conditioned chair cars having capacity of 78 seats each. The total carrying capacity of the train will be 758 passengers. The train will start its journey in the morning at 06:10 hours and will reach New Delhi at 12:25 hours having scheduled commercial halts at Kanpur Central and Ghaziabad. In the return direction, train will leave New Delhi at 16:30 hours and will reach Lucknow at 22:45 hours having schedule halts at Ghaziabad and Kanpur Central enroute. Train will run 6 days a week except Tuesday.
Another train on Tejas rake will be run by IRCTC on Ahmedabad – Mumbai – Ahmedabad route a little later. This train will leave Ahmedabad at 06:40 hours and will reach Mumbai at 13:15 hrs. In the return direction, train will leave Mumbai at 15:40 hrs and reach Ahmedabad at 22:25 hrs. This train will also run 6 days a week, except Thursday.
Salient features of these trains are as under:
- Train will be available for booking exclusively on IRCTC website www.irctc.co.in and its mobile app “Irctc Rail Connect”. There will be no booking at railway reservation counters. However, passengers can get their tickets booked through IRCTC authorized agents. Train will also be available for booking through IRCTC’ online travel portal partners like Paytm, Ixigo, PhonePe, Make My Trip, Google, Ibibo, Railyatri etc.
- Train will also be available for booking for on duty and leave travel of personnel of defence forces and Central Paramilitary Forces through their online e-ticketing portals integrated with IRCTC such as CGDA (Controller General of Defence Accounts) portal, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and NDRF (National Disaster Rescue Force) Portals, and also to NSG (National Security Guards) etc.
- These trains will have advance reservation period of 60 days. Initial trips will be booked on less than 60 days also till such time dates neutralize keeping in mind the train launch date and opening of first booking.
- While there will be no concession tickets in the train, children below 5 years of age have been exempted from fare and will be booked with their parents. Names of Children so booked will not appear on the chart. Children of age 5 years and above will be booked at full fare and will be provided with a seat.
- Train fare will be dynamic in nature keeping in consideration the prevailing bus, taxi, rail and airfares. Train will have different series of fares for lean, busy and festive seasons. February, March and August months of the calendar year will form the lean season. Further, train fares will be on point to point basis.
- Current Booking will be available to users after preparation of first chart which will normally be 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the trains, up to 5 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.
- One air conditioned chair car coach of 78 seats will be available for Group Booking on first cum first served basis. This coach can be booked any time from the opening of booking and up to 3 days in advance of the departure of the train. Booking of a full coach for group will be available completely online to facilitate tourism, corporate travel and other social needs of the public.
- There will be no tatkal quota or premium tatkal quota in these trains. There will be only General Quota and Foreign Tourist Quota. Foreign Tourist Quota of 5 seats in EC and 50 seats in CC will be available for Foreign Tourists.
- All passengers travelling on IRCTC trains will be provided with Rail Travel Insurance of up to Rs. 25 Lakhs, free of cost by IRCTC.
- IRCTC is also working on extending the Executive Lounge facility at New Delhi railway station to IRCTC train passengers at a reduced rate.
- In case of cancellation of train, automatic full refund of full fare on confirmed and /or waitlisted e-tickets will be made. There will be no need of cancelling the ticket or filing TDR in such case.
- On board infotainment services will be available in IRCTC trains to the passengers.
- IRCTC is also contemplating on sale of merchandise goods on board to its passengers on these trains.
- High quality food and beverages will be provided to the passengers on board in the train. Food will be compulsory and charges will be collected at the time of ticket booking itself. There will also be provision for separate free coffee and tea vending machines. Service in the train will be done through trolleys similar to airlines. Each coach will be provided with RO water filter in addition to the packaged drinking water bottle for each passenger. Passengers will be served morning welcome tea, breakfast, snacks before de boarding, evening high tea and dinner as per itinerary timings. Details for which will be provided on IRCTC website.
IRCTC is planning to imbibe regional delicacies having local and ethnic cuisines to suit the taste buds of passengers. On board hospitality services will be managed through professional and competent staff from either gender.
- IRCTC is planning to extend the facility of collecting passengers’ baggage from their homes and deliver to them in the train on their seats and then again from their seats to their destination stay point on payment. Modalities for the same are being worked out with vendors for this purpose. Passengers will be able to travel without worrying for their luggage. Luggage will be insured.
- IRCTC will also extend the facilities of taxi hiring, hotel bookings etc on payment to such passengers who need it. Wheel chair will also be provided to passengers on demand.
- Ticket cancellation and refund rules will be akin to Indian Railways Cancellation and Refund Rules in force with the following differences:
- If a Waitlisted Ticket is presented for cancellation up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, a clerkage charge of only Rs. 25/- per passenger shall be deducted from the ticket amount and balance refunded online. Indian Railways deducts Rs. 65 per passenger as clerkage from AC class passengers in such case.
- If a Fully waitlisted ticket is dropped at the time of train charting due to no seats being offered to the passenger, full ticket amount will be refunded online. No clerkage will be deducted on such tickets. Indian Railways deducts Rs. 65 per passenger as clerkage from AC class passengers in such case.
- If a partially confirmed ticket is cancelled after chart preparation and up to 30 minutes before scheduled departure of the train, full ticket amount will be refunded. No clerkage will be deducted. Indian Railways deducts Rs. 65 per passenger as clerkage from AC class passengers in such case.
Lucknow – New Delhi – Lucknow IRCTC train will be run as per following timings:
Detailed information about the facilities at stations, on board hospitalities, rules for ticket booking, procedures, refunds and cancellations etc will be made available to users on IRCTC website, once the trains are opened for booking.