The train you can travel free in India
Have you ever boarded a train without purchasing a ticket? Well, there could be many people who have done it, and many more who have considered it. When it comes to entering a train without a ticket, be aware that if you are found, you will be fined and, in some cases, imprisoned. However, you’ll be pleased to learn that there is one train in the country that transports people for free. While it may sound absolutely a great deal to you, passengers on the Bhakra Railway Train have been getting free rides for the past 73 years. People utilise this unique train to go between Nangal and Bhakar, which runs along the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border. As previously stated, there is no need to buy tickets to board this train. Yes, you can travel on this train absolutely free.
The Bhakra-Nangal railway service began in 1948, according to accounts. Because there was no means to move between Nangal and Bhakar during the construction of the Bhakra Nangal dam, the need for a special railway became apparent.
As a result, it was decided to construct a railway track along the route to simplify the transportation of both heavy gear and passengers. They had to cut the mountains to build this railway line.
What Fuel Does It Run on?
The train was originally powered by steam engines, which were subsequently replaced in 1953 with engines imported from America. The train has been running with its 60-year-old engines since then. While the train’s seats resemble colonial-era wooden benches, each coach is one-of-a-kind and manufactured in Karachi, according to reports.
From Where to Where?
The train passes through the Shivalik Hills before arriving at the Nehla station on its way to the Nangal Dam in Punjab. The train is said to consume 18 to 20 litres of fuel per hour, but the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has decided to keep it free of charge. The train runs twice in a day.
Why is It Kept Free?
Although the BBNM considered eliminating the free ride owing to financial constraints, they soon realised that the train represented more than just a source of revenue.
The train is meant to spread awareness on Bhagra Dam. The administration wants to let future generation know how the largest Bhakra dam of the country was built and what hardship they faced in its construction.
Can we travel for free on other trains in the Country?
Yes! But not all of us. Then, who can travel free in Indian Railways?
Free of cost or heavy discounts are offered on ticket price to students travelling for certain purpose by Indian Railways.
- School and college going girls can travel free of cost on monthly season ticket (MST) of general class. The concession can be taken unless they graduate from the college.
- Even boys can travel on general class MST for free in Indian Railways upto class 12th. The students studying in registered madrasas can avail the same concession.
- 75% discount can be availed on train tickets if the students are traveling for their entrance exam and they are studying in government school in rural areas. However, this discount is only available on general class travel.
- UPSC and Central Staff Selection Commission aspirants can get a discount of 50% in general class train fares.
- Students who are conducting research are given additional consideration. Indian Railways offers a 50% discount on travel tickets to students aged 35 and under who are conducting research. This discount applies to sleeper class tickets.
- If a student is participating in a work camp, he or she is entitled to a 25% discount on sleeper-class tickets.
- Students enrolled in government schools in remote areas can also enjoy a 75 percent discount on general-class train tickets once a year for a study tour.
- If they are travelling to attend a camp or seminar organised by the Indian government, foreign students studying in India are entitled to a 50% discount on sleeper-class railway tickets. During vacations, the same discount is available for visiting historical sites.
- Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students are eligible for a 75 percent discount on sleeper-class tickets, as well as MST and QST.
- Cadets and marine engineer apprentices pursuing mercantile marine navigational or engineering training receive a 50% discount from Indian Railways. This discount is valid for the entire training programme round trip.
Apart from this there are other categories in which people can travel for free or with heavy discount:
- Unemployed youths going to attend interviews for jobs in Central and State Govt. can get 50% in sleeping class and 100% in 2nd
- Cancer patients travelling alone or with an escort for treatment or periodic check-ups get 50 to 100% discount.
- Widows of policemen and paramilitary personnel killed on duty fighting against terrorists or extremists can travel for any purpose with 75% 2nd class and sleeping class.
- Film technician travelling for film production related work get 50 to 75 % discount including Rajdhani or Shatabdi.
- Sportsmen participating in national or state level tournament get up to 75% discount.
Indian Railways offers discount for various categories. We have mentioned here a few of them. If you think the category you belong to should also get discount in fare, check Indian Railways websites for the same.
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