Besides several other new trains, including a tourist train connecting the Buddhist pilgrim sites of Nalanda and Bodhgaya with Howrah, may also find mention in the forthcoming Railway Budget, a Railway official said. According to the official, Railways are flooded with proposals to introduce a total of 170 new trains, including that between Nizamuddin-Mumbai and Hyderabad-Ajmer.
While reviewing the performance of Durontos, the recently held General Manager's meet favoured more such trains as the occupancy rate in some of the existing services are around 70 to 85 per cent, the official said.
Bookings in 3AC class in Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto is reporting 105 per cent occupancy rate, the official said. "A feasibility study has also identified 40 new sectors where Duronto service can be introduced," the official said but indicated that only about 10 Durontos can be announced for the new sectors. This is because the Railways have managed to launch only half of the 14 trains announced in the last Railway Budget, the official added.
Some of the new sectors found feasible for running Duronto trains are Mumbai-Chennai, Pune- Mumbai, Bhubaneswar-Varanasi, Guwahati-New Delhi, Patna-Amritsar, Howrah-Puri, New Delhi-Trivandrum, Bhopal-New Delhi and Ahdedabad-Howrah among others. Punctuality, good service and less travel time have made Durontos operating in the New Delhi-Sealdah, Nizamuddin-Pune, Nizamuddin-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai sectors popular, the official said.
"The other reason for their popularity is that tickets come at a much cheaper rate than the premium trains Rajdhani and Shatabdi," the official said. The feasibility study also took into account the occupancy rate of mail and express trains in the routes identified for running the Duronto trains, the official added.