It’s been a long lockdown period for us in India—51 days, to be precise. While some state governments have started allowing industries and other non-essential services to resume, life has not gone back to normalcy yet. There are several debates on what the ‘new normal’ will look like, post this lockdown.
On Sunday, 10 May, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal who announced via a tweet that the Indian Railways would gradually resume passenger train operations from 12 May. Initially, there will be 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys) plying every day.
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 does this mean?
• There are 15 pairs (30 trips) of special trains that will function from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
How to book a ticket?
• Those who wish to travel can do so by booking their ticket from 4 pm on 11 May 2020 on the official IRCTC website only.
• Trains, schedules and all other details will be released soon.
• Indian Railways shall soon start more special services on new routes, based on the availability of coaches.
How much will a ticket cost?
• Do note that there will be no concession that will be made to the cost of the tickets.
• The fares of these trains will be equivalent to that of Rajdhani trains.
• All these trains will be air-conditioned and will be available at a premium fare.
• In case a booked ticket needs to be cancelled, the same can be done only via the IRCTC website. Passengers need not go to the station or approach any agent for the same.
Things to know:
• The ticket booking counters at stations will remain closed and no counter tickets, including platform tickets, will be issued.
• Only those passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations.
• It will be mandatory for all passengers to wear a face cover at all times, during the journey as well as when they are in the station.
• All passengers will have to undergo screening at the station, and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel.
• Passengers travelling in these trains will not be given linen and blankets to curtail the spread of the virus.
• The air conditioning within the compartments will be maintained at a slightly higher temperature.
This move has most certainly brought in a lot of respite and relief to all those who are away from their homes at this period.
Do follow only the official government channels for any further announcement on this matter.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)