The Indian Railways on Sunday said that it is planning to gradually restart the passenger train operations from 12 May with 15 trains, including their return journey. These trains will be run as special trains from the New Delhi station connecting 15 important cities of the country: Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Trivandrum, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
“Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as ‘Shramik Special’ for stranded migrants,” the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.
Booking for reservation will start at 4 pm on 11 May and will be available only on IRCTC website. All passenger trains will be run with AC coaches only and with limited stoppages. The fare will be equivalent to the ticket fare that is charged for Rajdhani Train.
“Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course,” the official statement said.
“Indian Railways has decided for the gradual resumption of passenger train services but existing Shramik special trains will continue to run as per current system on the request of the concerned state governments,” clarified the ministry in its statement. Indian Railways has the passenger services in March with the announcement of the nationwide lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak. However, trains carrying the migrants have started from last week.