In a yet another backdoor way to increase revenue, Southern Railway has started replacing sleeper berths with third AC berths which cost Rs 500 to Rs 800 more for a ticket on busy routes.
The number of sleeper berths in Pandian Express, one of the most sought-after trains in Tamil Nadu, between Chennai and Madurai, is to be reduced to 702 (nine LHB coaches) by August 20. The train had 864 sleeper berths (12 coaches) until a few years ago when it was operated with ICF coaches.
Similarly, Chennai Egmore – Tiruchy Rockfort Express and Chennai – Tiruchy Cholan Express which have rake link with Pandian Express also lost about 130 to 145 sleeper berths in the last couple of years.
The sleeper berth share in trains began to shrink when railways replaced the conventional ICF coaches with LHB coaches in August 2016. Subsequently, sleeper berths were further reduced after railways replaced the coaches with third AC coaches in trains which had high passenger demand. This information was revealed in an official release by Southern Railway recently. Read More