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 1 April 2016 and 10 March 2017, 3AC coaches carried 17 percent of all passengers in long-distance trains which accounted for 32.60 percent 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 percent between 1 April 2016 and 10 March 2017.
Sleeper class carried 59.78 percent passengers and contributed about 44.78 percent of passenger earnings. In 2016, the share of sleeper coaches was over 60 percent of passengers and 45.94 percent 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.