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Railways to run more special trains

Following the suspension of passenger services on March 22, the Railways started running 230 special passenger trains.

Following the suspension of passenger services on March 22, the Railways started running 230 special passenger trains.  

Running all available trains will not be possible in ‘very near future’: Railway Board Chairman

Following the increasing demand for trains on certain routes, the Railways on Friday said it would very soon announce more special trains for travellers.

Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said running all available trains would not be possible in the “very near future”, but the Railways was closely monitoring the situation and “is in the process of finalising trains...maybe in a week or ten days will announce more special trains.”

Also read | Railways cancels all regular train services till August 12

Following the suspension of passenger services on March 22, the Railways started running 230 special passenger trains. Of these, Mr. Yadav said, 78 trains were running at more than 100% occupancy, 43 trains at 75-100% and 27 trains at 50-75% as on June 26.

“It is a very difficult situation and people are travelling only when essential... We will be adding more special trains. However, running trains at full strength will take time and depends on how the COVID-19 situation changes,” he said at a media briefing.

Mr. Yadav added that the Railways had seen an “encouraging” trend of increasing occupancy in trains moving in the “reverse direction”, for example, from States such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar to Mumbai and Gurajat. “Now trains running from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, to Mumbai are at full occupancy. Similar is the case with trains from Bihar to Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh to Ahmedabad... This is a good sign that economic activity has started and people are returning to work,” he said.

The Railway Board Chairman said the demand for Shramik Specials had been “fully satisfied”, and there was no demand pending now. So far, the Railways had run 4,594 such trains, ferrying 62.8 lakh passengers.

COVID coaches

According to the Railways’ estimate, it is spending ₹2 lakh per COVID care coach, including for minor modifications, maintenance, food and linen for patients, and protective gear for the staff. Mr. Yadav said this was being funded by the Central COVID care fund, and the Railways had already been allocated about ₹100 crore for the expenses on account of 5,213 such coaches. He said a total of ₹620 crore had been sanctioned from the fund to the Ministry of Railways.

On manufacturing of ventilators by the Railways, he said it was a “conscious decision” not to make ventilators given that it required a lot of testing before going to market. With established manufacturers announcing an increase in production, the Railways decided not to pursue it further.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 2:13:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/railways-to-run-more-special-trains/article31927103.ece

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