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Railways’ graded restoration of services begins on June 1

The reservation counter at Salem Railway junction started functioning and passengers queued upto book tickets on special trains announced by Railways, on May 31, 2020.

The reservation counter at Salem Railway junction started functioning and passengers queued upto book tickets on special trains announced by Railways, on May 31, 2020.   | Photo Credit: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Nearly 26 lakh passengers booked in advance for travel from June 1 to June 30

More than 1.45 lakh passengers are booked to travel via trains on Monday as Indian Railways begins graded restoration of passenger services with 200 new special trains.

Watch | Indian Railways restart 'special trains'

As per the data shared by the Railways, till Sunday morning, nearly 26 lakh passengers had booked in advance for the reservation period from June 1 to June 30, 2020. These 200 trains will be run in addition to the 30 special passenger trains that started operations on May 12, as well as the Shramik Special trains.

Meanwhile, a Railways spokesperson said that some States, such as Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, have expressed reservations about the running of trains or the number of stoppages as planned. “The matter is being discussed with the States. Any further development in this regard will be intimated,” the spokesperson added.

As per the new rules for rail travel, passengers will need to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance and only those with confirmed/RAC (reservation against cancellation) tickets will be allowed to enter the railway station and board the train. Partially wait-listed ticket holders will be allowed (that is, if there are both confirmed as well as wait-listed passengers under a single PNR). All passengers will be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic people will be allowed to board the train.

Also read: Migrant workers | Reports of ‘lost’ trains fake, says Railways

Carry linen, travel light

Passengers will need to carry their own linen and blankets for travel as these items will not be provided on the trains. “All passengers must download and use the Aarogya Setu application. Passengers are advised to travel light,” the Railways said.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will make provision for limited availability of eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis only in limited trains and “passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water”. All static catering and vending units at railway stations will remain open. However, in the case of food plazas and refreshments rooms etc., cooked items may be served as takeaway only, with no sit-down eating arrangements in place.

Also read: How the Indian Railways is reinventing itself in the time of COVID-19

States’ protocol on arrival

Additionally, passengers will need to wear face covers/ masks and follow social distancing. “On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination State/ Union Territory,” the statement said.

These fully reserved trains will have both AC and non-AC coaches. General (GS) coaches will have reserved sitting accommodation. There will be no unreserved coaches in the trains.

The first chart will be prepared at least four hours before scheduled departure and the second chart will be prepared at least two hours (unlike the present practice of 30 minutes) before scheduled departure.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 10:26:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/railways-graded-restoration-of-services-begins-monday/article31717041.ece

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