AC trains from Pune on high occupancy
PUNE: Rail travellers from the city prefer the comforts of an air conditioned berth, even if it’s a pinch on the pocket. According to the railway data, the three fully air conditioned (AC) trains from Pune to Delhi, Nagpur and Howrah have received overwhelming responses. While the Pune- Delhi and Pune-Nagpur trains registered an occupancy of around 90 per cent, the Pune-Howrah Duronto registered an occupancy of 40 per cent on its maiden voyage.
According to the Pune railway division, the Pune-Delhi non-stop Duronto express has registered an average occupancy of more than 90 per cent. The train was introduced an year ago in September 2009. It is scheduled for two days a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from Pune to Delhi.
Similarly, the Pune-Nagpur-Pune Garib Rath, which is scheduled for three times a week from Pune on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, has registered an occupancy of around 85 per cent. The train was introduced in January 2009.
Suhas Lohakare, public relation officer, Pune railway division, said, “The Pune- Hazarat Nizamuddin Duronto is the only train between Pune and Delhi that travels via the Western route and covers the distance within 20 hours. All the other trains take more than 25 hours. The train has registered high occupancy in all seasons.”
About the Pune-Nagpur Garib Rath, Lohakare said, “According to statistics, the train is running with an average occupancy of 85 per cent. It has reduced its rates for AC coaches as compared to rates of AC coaches in ordinary trains.”
Lohakare added that the third fully AC train, from Pune to Howrah, was introduced recently, and has registered a good response (around 40 per cent occupancy). It is a significant number for the maiden journey of a train, he said.
U Nachiket, who travelled by Duronto said the travel time between Pune-Delhi has certainly reduced as compared with other trains. However, he added that the Tatkal’ facility should be made available for the Duronto express.
Harsha Shah of the Railway Pravasi Group, said, “Even tough AC trains are introduced by railways, the arrangements of berths should be made more comfortable. The berth arrangements in economy class are not comfortable for long journeys, especially for senior citizens. Besides, the railways should design new coaches for AC trains.”
Shah said the frequency of these trains should be increased considering the increasing response from passengers as there have been complaining about heavy rush and non-availability of reservations most of the times.