Meals not optional for passengers of Train 18
NEW DELHI: Meals on board the soon-to-be-launched Vande Bharat Express or 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 take catering services, officials said.
However, passengers travelling the last leg on the route of the semi-high speed train -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, the sources told PTI.
The catering charges would not be included in their ticket prices.
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. If the passengers who have opted out in advance want a meal during their travel, they will have to shell out an extra ~ 50 for it, the sources said. In 2017, the IRCTC made meals on board prepaid trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto (which add the meal prices in ticket) with pantry services optional. 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.
This also reduced the cost of the tickets on these trains by around ~250.
Talking about Train 18, an official said, “The catering charges between the stations have been fixed and they will be added to the ticket fare of all passengers.
“However, passengers boarding the train to travel the final or first leg of the journey from Varanasi to Allahabad or Allahabad to Varanasi may opt out of the catering services. They will have to opt out at the time of booking.”
Prices of the meals will be part of the ticket fare of the train which will run from Varanasi to Delhi on Feb 15.