The Railways does an outstanding job in addressing demand-supply elasticity to a certain degree, by having different categories of trains with travel on Passenger Trains being the cheapest and with higher pricing for other services such as Mail, Super Fast, Express, Rajdhani etc. Along with different categories of service within these trains such as General or Unreserved, Reserved Seating, Sleeper, AC Chair, AC-3 Tier, AC-2 Tier, First Class etc. multiple price points are offered. But the offerings are skewed towards the lower price categories with the demand for AC services far exceeding supply.
Indira Gandhi did away with III Class saying it portrayed a bad image. The ensuing Make Over resulted in the existing categories. It is suggested that we revisit the current categories and consider the following:
General: This is the subsidized category that is unreserved seating.
Economy Chair: This would be comparable to an ordinary bus with reserved seating. Each train that has a General Category should have this category as well.
Economy Sleeper: This would be the existing Sleeper Class and with the intent to increase the number of passengers a train can carry, it is suggested that a few of these Sleeper Class bogies be replaced with Economy seating.
AC Chair: This would be comparable to the AC Volvo and priced competitively to AC Bus transportation. New trains with this class of service should be introduced for the Middle Class.
AC 2 Tier and 3 Tier: This would remain the same.
Premium Class: Suggest First Class be renamed to Premium Class.
Luxury Class: This would be the Palace on Wheels.
Super Saver: The Garib Rath is a misnomer and an insult to the people travelling on it. Most of the AC Tier 3 are Middle Class people. Convert the whole train to AC Chair and use the AC 3 Tier bogies to new trains at a better price. more