Know how railways fool you in the name of 'superfast' trains

Agra: North Central Railway (NCR) and South Central Railway (SCR) levied and collected Rs 11.17 crore from passengers as 'superfast' surcharges, but some of their superfast trains were delayed more than 95% times, said a CAG report tabled in Parliament on Friday. According to the Railway Board, trains with average speed of 55 kmph or more come under the category of superfast trains. A study of data on punctuality of superfast trains from 2013-14 to 2015-16 in NCR and SCR, however, revealed that such trains reached the destination late between 13.48% and 95.17% of the days on which they ran. In total, 21 superfast trains were delayed on 3,000 days out of 16,804 days because they failed to attain the 'superfast' speed. According to a report in "Times of India", At present, there is no rule or policy to refund money if a train is delayed. Only when a person files a ticket deposit against reservation (TDR) against a train delayed for more than three hours is a refund possible.

According to the railways, 'superfast' surcharges vary for different class of coaches. For example, it is Rs 15 for general coaches, Rs 30 for sleeper, Rs 45 for AC (chair car, AC-3 economy, AC-3, AC-2 classes) and Rs 75 for AC First/Executive class which were effective from April 1, 2013.

Agra divisional commercial manager Sanchit Tyagi said, "There are scores of factors which lead to trains not achieving their superfast speed, thus causing delays. Some the prominent factors are the maintenance of tracks, signal glitches, emergency brakes and accidents which contribute in the late operations of railways."