Train journeys are fun, but we are all familiar with the sinking feeling that comes when we see a co-passenger bring along what seems like half a ton of excess luggage, and the ruckus that follows as everyone in the berth tries to make space for it.
The Indian Railways has lately introduced several measures to ensure that passengers have a smooth journey. For example, they have introduced POS machines on trains, and they now have a solution for the problem mentioned above as well!
The Economic Times reports that the national transporter has decided to strictly enforce its baggage allowance rule—which is over three decades old. As per the rule, the national transporter is allowed to strictly penalise the passengers, if they are found to be travelling with excess luggage.
Currently, the baggage allowance is as follows:
1) Passengers travelling in the Sleeper Class can carry up to 40 kg of luggage for free, and up to 80 kg, by paying for excess luggage.
2) Passengers travelling in the Second Class can carry luggage weighing 35 kg for free, and up to 70 kg, by paying for excess luggage.
3) AC First Class passengers can carry 70 kg of luggage for free, and a maximum of 150 kgs, after paying a fee for the extra 80 kgs.
4) AC 2-tier passengers can carry 50 kg of luggage for free, and a maximum of 100 kg by paying a fee for the extra 50 kgs.
The excess baggage will be stored in the luggage van.
While the Railways is following the rules and regulations set by airline operators, there are a few differences. At the airport, every bag being carried by a passenger is weighed, while the Railways will carry out checks at random. Additionally, the baggage limit for domestic flights is much lower than what the Railway’s limits are.
Ved Prakash, the Railway Board Information and Publicity Director, told the Financial Express, that passengers can carry and book excess luggage in the luggage van, up to the maximum limit, by paying a fee equal to 1.5 times the luggage rate. However if a passenger is found travelling with unbooked luggage more than the free allowance, a penalty equal to 6 times the luggage rate will be charged.
For example, if a passenger is travelling 500 km with luggage weighing 70 kg in sleeper class, he can book excess luggage of 40 kg for Rs 109 in the luggage van. However, if he doesn’t, and is caught with the extra luggage, he will end up paying a penalty of Rs 654.
According to the Economic Times, the Railways will start enforcing these rules across all zones through a special drive in the first week of June.
Trunks, suitcases and boxes to be carried in the compartments, must adhere to the prescribed measurements of 100cmX60cmx25cm (length, breadth, height). Luggage that exceeds these dimensions will have to be put into the luggage van.
Well, the next time you think about sneaking in that extra carton of mangoes because you assume you can hide it under the seat, think again!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)