Indian Railways has restarted special passenger train services today. Initially, 15 pairs of trains are being run with passengers onboard.
These trains are being 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.
All these special trains have only first, second and third air condition classes. The fare structure for the these trains is similar to the regular time tabled Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges. Reservation for these trains will be available only on the IRCTC website as data regarding the special trains is being incorporated in the system. Ticket booking counters at the Railway Stations will remain closed and counter tickets will not be issued. No catering charges will be included in the fare. Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering is be disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis.
The Ministry said, passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. Current booking, Tatkal and Premium Tatkal booking shall not be permitted. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the Railway Stations. Passengers will have to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
The passengers will have to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. Online cancellation will be permitted up to 24 hours before scheduled departure of train. No cancellation permitted less than 24 hrs before departure of train. Cancellation charge shall be 50 per cent of fare. The Ministry has advised all the passengers to download and use the Aarogya Setu App. No Linen, blankets and curtains will be provided inside the train. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. As per MHA guidelines the movement of the passenger as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passenger to and fro the Railway Station will be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.
All passenger train services were suspended due to lockdown announced on 25th of March.
After the resumption of these 15 services, Railways will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20 thousand 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.