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Train 18: Vande Bharat Express ticket prices reduced, but it's still not very cheap!

Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express is also partnering with restaurant chain Pind Balluchi and The Landmark Hotel to serve scrumptious food onboard. However, passengers cannot opt out of the food served.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 13, 2019  | 15:43 IST
Train 18: Vande Bharat Express ticket prices reduced, but it's still not very cheap!
Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express will be inaugurated on Feb 15

Train 18, which was recently rechristened Vande Bharat Express will have fares much higher than the erstwhile premier Shatabdi Express. The prices, although in the steeper range, has been rationalised by the Indian Railways for the air-conditioned chair car (CC) and executive class (EC) tickets. The Varanasi-bound Delhi train reduced the fare for the CC from Rs 1,850 to Rs 1,760 and to Rs 3,310 from Rs 3,520 for the EC, an order by the Railways said. As for the return journey, a CC ticket would cost Rs 1,700 and Rs 3,260 for EC, as per the order.

The order also revealed that the CC fares are 1.4 times the base price of Shatabdi trains for the same distance and the EC fares are 1.3 times of the first class air-conditioned seats.

The premium train is also partnering with restaurant chain Pind Balluchi and The Landmark Hotel to serve scrumptious food onboard to its patrons. However, the passengers cannot opt out of the food served, unlike in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto expresses. Only passengers on the last leg, which is from Prayagraj to Varanasi will have the option to not take a meal, something that they will have to intimate in advance while booking the tickets. The prices of the meals, will however be included in the ticket prices.

While the train does provide the finest of amenities and features, with a travel experience second to none, the pricing is steep for an average Indian. A flight from Delhi to Varanasi charges in the same range while completing the trip in a much shorter span of 1 hour 20 minutes on an average. Travelling at 180 kmph, Vande Bharat Express is the country's fastest train, completing the trip of 11-12 hours in eight hours.

With the UDAN scheme, the government has managed to connect the farthest corners of the country with minimum charges feasible. On top of that, most airlines roll out flash sales intermittently, reducing prices significantly.

As such the Indian Railways might find it challenging to attract the average Indian. The semi-high speed train will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15.

(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)

Also read: Train 18 fares: Delhi-Varanasi AC chair car ticket to cost Rs 1,850, executive class Rs 3,520

Also read: Vande Bharat Express: IRCTC plans to offer food from Pind Balluchi, Landmark Hotel onboard Train 18

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