The Indian Railways will start limited passenger trains service from May 12 (tomorrow, Tuesday) and the bookings will start from today 4 pm onwards. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday tweeted that railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, 2020. Initially 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India will commence its service.
The special trains will run from New Delhi to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
Initially, only air-conditioned train services will begin on 15 Rajdhani routes and will have very few stoppages during the journey. Officials said passengers travelling in these trains may not be given blankets and linen to reduce the chances of the spread of coronavirus.
How much will be ticket fare
The fare would be equivalent to that of the super-fast train, Railways said. Railways request passengers to arrive at the station at least an hour before departure.
How to book tickets for special train services
Booking will be available only on the IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in). There would be no provision of 'tatkal' and 'premium tatkal' accommodation. Also, no 'current booking' will be allowed, an official said. Ticket booking services at stations will remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) will be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter stations, the railways said.
What passengers need to know
The tickets 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 the Aarogya Setu mobile app.
It will be mandatory for travellers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the trains.
All passenger services were suspended due to a lockdown announced on March 25 and the railways later started the on-demand Shramik Specials to ferry migrants stranded across the country. It, however, has been running freight and parcel services.
After the resumption of these 15 services, railways will start more trains on new routes, based on availability after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and an adequate number for running up to 300 Shramik Specials every day.
(With inputs from PTI)