Bhubaneswar: Indian Railways have made optional the catering services in few selected trains on a trial basis for six months from 1st August, 2017. Passengers can now opt out of the catering facility offered by IRCTC while booking their tickets. This would mean tickets on these trains are going to cost less compared to those with pre-booked meals. Passengers, however, cannot change their option during the journey once they opt out. This scheme will be implemented for six months subject to mid-term review after three months.

East Coast Railway has nominated optional catering services in two of its Express Trains- 12277/12278 Puri-Howrah-Puri Express and 12281/12282 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Duronto Express from Tuesday, 1st August, 2017, according to chief public relations officer of ECo Railways. He said that it has become mandatory for  the passengers  to give their option whether to have food service or not at the time of the booking of ticket .   The catering charges shall be included in the ticket fare only in case passengers opt for catering services and excluded in case passengers do not require catering services. Passengers will not be allowed to change their options at any point of time once they exercise option at the time of booking. No partial catering service shall be provided to passengers under this scheme, thus the option shall include/exclude complete catering service between pairs of stations. Optional catering services on the above mentioned trains will be provided to passengers booking tickets from August 1 onwards for the journeys to commence on August 1 and onwards. For those who have booked tickets by these trains prior to 1st August, 2017, Catering Service will be a part of the ticket fare.