The Indian Railways will restart passenger train operations from Tuesday, with bookings for reservation in these trains set to start at 4 pm on Monday, 51 days after the train services were halted to control the spread of coronavirus. The services will resume initially with 15 pair of trains, or a total of 30 journeys, the national transporter said on Sunday.
Ticket bookings will be opened from 4 pm today, with these to be sold only via the IRCTC website or mobile app. Booking through ticket agents (whether IRCTC or Railways) is not permitted. Counters at all stations, including those for platform tickets, will remain closed.
These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
Only passengers with confirmed and valid tickets will be allowed to enter the station at Delhi, the Railways warned, adding that all passengers would also have to wear face masks, under screening at departure (only asymptomatic people can travel) and maintain social distancing at all times.
All trains will run with AC coaches only and will have a limited stoppage. Details regarding the train schedule will be issued in due course, the Rai
More “special” trains will be operated based on the availability of coaches, the Railways said. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted confirmation.
Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India. Booking in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11th May.https://t.co/DW9I1sPRx6
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 10, 2020
WHAT RULES DO THE PASSENGERS HAVE TO FOLLOW?
Passengers will have to arrive at the station at least an hour before departure. Initially, all air-conditioned services will begin on 15 Rajdhani routes and the fare would be equivalent to that of the super-fast train, officials said.
These tickets, officials say, would have details of the ‘dos and don’ts’ passengers need to follow — such as arriving at the station at least an hour in advance for screening and other coronavirus protocols, mandatory use of masks and use of the Aarogya Setu mobile app.
Booking for reservations on these trains will start today at 4 pm. Passengers can only purchase tickets via IRCTC website or IRCTC mobile app. The ticket booking counters at railway stations shall remain closed in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic. No provision of tatkal or premium tatkal accommodation will be available.
The Railways said operations will be expanded gradually over the coming days and more special services on new routes will be announced.
This will be done based on the available coaches after 20,000 coaches are reserved for Covid-19 care centers and an adequate number of coaches are reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains daily as Shramik Special for stranded migrants.
People traveling in these trains may not be given blankets and linen to reduce the chances of the spread of coronavirus, according to PTI. Temperatures will be kept slightly higher and railways will ensure the maximum supply of only fresh air. The pantry services will not be available in these trains.