In what could be termed as a first-of-its-kind, a whopping 46 per cent of berths on board train no. 02204 Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Premium Superfast Special leaving here at 11 p.m. on April 17 and reach its destination at 8.50 a.m. the next day, were lapped up by the passengers.

On April 6, when bookings opened for train nos. 02204/02203 Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad, 26 per cent of berths were booked from here to the port city. In view of three continuous holidays on April 18, 19 and 20, the premium specials were announced and in the return direction, no. 02203 will leave Visakhapatnam at 9.10 p.m. on April 20, to reach here at 7 a.m. the next day.

The initiative by South Central Railway is a take off from the success that an experiment by the Indian Railways between Mumbai and New Delhi during the last holiday season, enjoyed.

Advantages

A senior SCR official here said the advantages of the premium specials were that accommodation was assured, as was comfort because the train will stop only at Rajahmundry and Samalkot in both directions. Dynamic pricing was a new concept that was finding acceptance from passengers who felt it was value for money, because of the limited halts and no extra passengers, as in waitlisted ones.

On the premium specials, price increases up to a set upper ceiling as bookings increased. With confirmed e-tickets issued only and no waitlist being permitted, concessions of different kinds too, are not valid on these. These premium specials run at a higher-than-average speed than of the normal superfast trains with less stops and saving precious time for passengers. The distance of 701 km between the two stations is covered in 9 hours and 50 minutes.

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