Travel plans fall into prey of cancellations is the journey tickets fall in the wait-list category. Sometimes traveling is not a choice but a binding affair when the travel plans are made due to certain unforeseen circumstances. Everyone who has traveled with W/L status knows the pain of being into this segment. People used to put-up requests if an extra train boggy could be added in such cases. Keeping such demands into consideration, Indian Railways is now acting on to solve such issues. The single answer would be to run “Clone Train”.
What is Clone Train?
Clone trains are trains which would run in high demand routes and would carry a similar train number of their already running trains in a particular route. They would even carry the same train number as their original counterpart. In short:
A clone train will be train which will be running with the same number like the actual train. For example the 12423/12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express has all the seats got reserved and still has a heavy demand of waitlisted passengers. Indian Railways will put another rake of the Rajdhani Express with the same number just to carry waitlisted ticket-holders.
What’s the update about the ‘Clone Train Scheme’?
- Indian Railways plans to start these clone trains in a phased manner in the next 15 days and will issue a notification about the same.
- Railways will monitor all the trains that are currently in operation to determine which trains have a long waiting list.
- Keeping in mind, Wherever there is a demand for a particular train, wherever the waiting list is long, railways will run a clone train ahead of the actual train, so that passengers can travel.
- The stoppages of the clone trains will be less than the special trains. The idea is to have stoppages at major stations for clone trains to meet the demands of people.
What are the challenges in this ‘Clone Train Scheme’?
- Logistical Challenges: A logistical challenge for the Railways as it will require additional rakes for running the clone train. Indian Railways will try to run these types of trains from major cities initially where there are additional rakes.
- Upgrading PRS (Passenger Reservation System): At present Indian Railways disables bookings of the train ticket after a waiting list for a train touches 400 in sleeper class, 300 in 3AC or chair car, 30 in first class, and 100 in second class. It would need to be upgraded once the ‘clone scheme’ comes into play.
What About the “Vikalp Scheme”?
Indian Railways is already running the ‘Vikalp Scheme’ where the passengers are given the choice to book the ticket in an alternate train if their waitlisted tickets do not get confirmed on the train they had opted for. However a major drawback of the ‘Vikalp Scheme’ is that the traveling time of the passenger may increase if he/ she is given a reservation on another train.
Advantages of “Clone Train Scheme”
- Clone trains would add to the revenue of Indian Railways.
- The wait-listed segment can be addressed in a better manner.
The clone trains will be primarily 3AC trains and run ahead of the already operating special trains. The operation of clone trains will be widely publicized for the benefit of prospective passengers. The routes are being finalized for final roll out of the ‘clone train’ scheme.
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