New Delhi: The economical Yuva train service is likely to introduce additional AC-3 class coaches to augment its earnings since its present seating arrangement has got poor results for cash-strapped Railways.
The Railways has been running two Yuva Express trains with AC chair car facilities for the past three years connecting the national capital with Kolkata and Mumbai.
"Though the two AC trains are running on two important routes which have heavy demand throughout the year, the earnings are not up to the mark," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
About 10,500 passenger trains run daily and the loss in the passenger earnings has gone up to Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal and Railways is trying to reduce the loss margin by initiating several measures including curbing on its expenditure.
The Railway official said the idea to add AC-3 tier coaches came since passengers prefer sleeper berth facility in overnight journeys and Yuva trains currently provide only seating arrangements.
"We are planning to add AC-3 tier in both trains to accommodate more passengers as the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes are always high on demand," the official said.
Targeting youth and low-income group in the age group of 18 to 45 years, the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced low-cost Yuva trains with AC chair car facilities to counter her predecessor Lalu Prasad's Garib Rath Express.
Initially 60 percent of the total seats were reserved for youths and passengers of the low-income group, while the remaining seats were meant for general passengers.
However, the occupancy rate in youth quota seats was found to be less than 15 percent and Railways was forced to reduce the youth quota to 20 percent in September 2011.
The fare of the Yuva Express with AC chair car facilities in 10 coaches ranges from Rs 80 for the first 100 km, Rs 299 for up to 1,500 km and a maximum of Rs 399 up to 2,500 km for the unemployed and low-income group youth.
Yuva trains are being run on important routes with carefully chosen stoppages to ensure good ridership and Railways wants to utilise the full potential of the service, the official said.