New Delhi, The Indian Railways on Sunday announced that it is planning to gradually restart special AC passenger train operations from Tuesday with 15 trains, including their return journey, with limited stops and online booking starting from Monday evening.
In the initial phase, the 15 pairs of trains will run as special AC trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
According to the Railways, all the coaches will be all AC with limited stoppage and the fare will be equivalent to Rajdhani trains.
"The 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 reservations in these trains will start at 4 p.m. on Monday and will be available only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). 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," it said.
The Indian Railways had stopped the passenger services on March 22 and with the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, the suspension continued till now. However trains carrying migrants have started from last week. So far, over 350 Shramik special trains were operated by the Railways carrying 3.5 lakh migrant workers.
However, good trains carrying essentials were running in the lockdown to ensure the supply of essential goods.