Indian Railways on Tuesday said it will run 392 festival special trains across the country between 20 October and 30 November to cater to rising demand in the festive season.
The fare of these trains will be 1.3 times the normal fare, as per railway ministry norms, an official spokesperson said. “This is not the first time that Indian Railways will introduce special trains during the festive season. Fares for such trains are 1.3 times (on average) of the normal fare (in line with a circular issued in 2015). But these are temporary trains and the services will be discontinued after November 30,” the spokesperson said.
According to the 2015 circular, the fare structure of these trains will be on the pattern of express trains. “In addition to the fare, special charges will be realized, which will be fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum,” the 2015 circular said.
The festival special trains will be run for destinations such as Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow among others to cater to the growing demand in the ensuing holiday period of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, and Chhatt puja, it said.
The trains will have to be operated at a minimum speed of 55 km per hour so that they are able to offer superfast services. “Zonal railways should make more efforts to operate these services with more number of AC three-tier coaches in good condition,” according to a railway ministry circular released on Tuesday.
Currently, the national transporter is running more than 600 trains across the country. Train services are yet to resume in full swing due to the covid-19 crisis. Earlier this month, railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that Indian Railways plans to run more than 200 trains during the festive season.
The Railways has currently suspended all regular passenger trains indefinitely. Regular trains have remained suspended since March 22. It started operations of 15 pairs of premium Rajdhani special trains connecting Delhi with different parts of the country on May 12, and 100 pairs of long-distance trains on June 1. It also started 80 trains additionally on September 12.
Here’s a complete list of festival special trains:
Meanwhile, A day after recording its lowest single-day addition to Covid tally since August 18, India on Tuesday registered a spike of 63,517 cases, taking the total count to 72,39,390, and the death toll reached 110,617.