Rationalising the fares of Vande Bharat Express or Train 18, the railways on Tuesday said an air-conditioned chair car ticket for a Delhi-Varanasi trip would cost Rs 1,760, instead of Rs 1,850, and the executive class fare will be Rs 3,310, instead of Rs 3,520.
On the return journey, the chair car ticket would cost Rs 1,700 and the executive car ticket will be priced at Rs 3,260, a railway order said.
Both the fares are inclusive of the catering charges.
Now, the chair car fares are 1.4 times the base price of Shatabdi trains running the same distance and the executive class fares are 1.3 times of first class air-conditioned seating in the premium train, it said.
The semi-high speed train is scheduled to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15. The train has two classes of tickets -- executive class and chair car -- and will have differently priced meals.
In fact, IRCTC has reportedly partnered with restaurant chain Pind Balluchi and The Landmark Hotel to serve food to its passengers onboard the Vande Bharat Express or Train 18.
Moreover, meals on board Train 18 will not be optional for passengers unlike in premium trains such as Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto express, where travellers can choose not to opt for catering services. But passengers travelling the last leg on the route -- Allahabad to Varanasi -- will have the choice of opting out of the meals provided by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in advance while booking their tickets. For others, the prices of the meals will be part of the ticket fare of the train which will run from Varanasi to Delhi on its maiden journey on February 15.
It was done to effectively control unfair practices of overcharging, issues of quality as well quantity and also to avoid wastage of food. This gave the passengers option to ‘not eat’ if he does not want the food supplied on board.
The train will cover the 755-km distance in eight hours with stoppages at Kanpur and Prayagraj. It will be the fastest train on the route. The current fastest train takes around 11-and-a-half-hours to complete the journey.