Watch | Indian Railways restart 'special trains'

A video on the phased restarting of passenger train services in India amid the COVID-19 lockdown

Published - May 12, 2020 03:00 pm IST

It has been almost 50 days since railway services were stopped in India amid the COVID-19 lockdown. The Indian Railways plans to restart passenger services in a phased manner.

Initially, 15 pairs of 'special trains' will restart service from May 12 onwards. Which means a total of 30 return journeys would be run as special trains.

The trains will run from the New Delhi station connecting places including Patna, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai Central.

Also read: Aarogya Setu app mandatory for travel on 15 special trains: Railways

An official statement said the Railways would start more special services on new routes based on the availability of coaches. 20,000 coaches have been reserved as COVID-19 care centres. While an adequate number of coaches are reserved to operate up to 300 ‘Shramik Specials’ per day for stranded migrants.

The reservation for these 'special trains' started on May 11 on the IRCTC website. Minutes after the online ticket window opened the first special Mumbai-Delhi train was completely booked.

Also read: Over 45,000 bookings worth ₹16 crore so far for special trains: Railways

Ticket booking counters at stations would remain closed. Counter tickets, including platform tickets, will not be issued.

A Railway spokesperson said only AC coaches would be run. The fares would be equal to that of equivalent Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges.

Passengers will need to reach the stations 90 minutes before departure time. It will be mandatory for passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure. Only passengers without any symptoms will be allowed to board trains.

Passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. No linens, blankets or curtains will be provided inside the train.

It is mandatory for passengers to download the government’s Aarogya Setu mobile application before commencing their journey

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