The railways will increase 3AC coaches in long distance trains to cater to the growing demand for air-conditioned coaches. Railway data shows that between April 1, 2016 and March 10, 2017, 3AC coaches carried 17 per cent of all passengers in long-distance trains which accounted for 32.60 per cent of all the earnings from passenger fares. The data shows increasing demand for 3AC class with passenger share rising from 16.69 per cent last year to 17.15 per cent, and passenger earnings increasing from 32.60 per cent last year to 33.65 per cent between April 1, 2016 and March 10, 2017.
Sleeper class carried 59.78 per cent passengers and contributed about 44.78 per cent of passenger earnings. Last year the share of sleeper coaches was over 60 per cent of passengers and 45.94 per cent of earnings. The predominance of sleeper passengers is showing a downward trend as more and more passengers are opting for 3AC class, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The official said a decision has been taken to augment 3AC coaches gradually in some long distance trains. The railways recently launched the Hamsafar Express with 3AC class only and results are positive.