Super AC class to come into effect by end of 2012

Mamata Banerjee had floated the concept in her last railway budget and Dinesh Trivedi is expected to take it forward, when he tables it in Parliament a month later. According to sources in the Railway Board, air-conditioned travel is expected to get more expensive but sleeper and general class fares will remain largely untouched.

As a balm for those who travel in AC coaches and crib about the poor quality of service, Trivedi is expected to unveil the concept of the Super AC Class that will be an intermediary between the ACI and ACII classes. Though this class will be cheaper than ACI, it will have amenities like drop-down video screens and sub-pantries in all coaches. The new coaches will be of world class standard, an official said.

In May 2011, the Railway Board had written to Railway Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, directing it to develop a prototype for a Super AC Coach. In the first phase, 25 of these coaches will be built and distributed. In addition to this, 25 existing ACII coaches of Western Railway will be converted to Super AC ones. The cost for refurbishment of each coach is expected to be nearly Rs 18 lakh.