Train services in India resume tomorrow
Published: 11:41 AM, 11 May 2020 Updated: 11:48 AM, 11 May 2020
Indian train (File Photo)
Amid coronavirus outbreak, Indian Railways plans to restart passenger trains in a phased manner from Tuesday.
On Sunday, the Indian Railways said it planned to restart passenger services in a phased manner - initially with 15 pairs of trains - from Tuesday onwards, almost 50 days after the services were stopped amid COVID-19 lockdown.
These trains will be 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.
NDTV reported that ticket bookings will be opened from 4:00 pm today (local time), with these to be sold only via the IRCTC website or mobile app. Booking through ticket agents (whether IRCTC or Railways) is not permitted. Counters at all stations, including those for platform tickets, will remain closed.
Only passengers with confirmed and valid tickets will be allowed to enter the station at Delhi, the Railways warned, adding that all passengers would also have to wear face masks, under screening at departure (only asymptomatic people can travel) and maintain social distancing at all times.
All trains will run with AC coaches only and will have a limited stoppage. Details regarding train schedule will be issued in due course.
Over 20,000 coaches have been converted into COVID-19 isolation wards since March and thousands more have been reserved for "shramik (worker)" trains being run every day to return stranded migrant workers to their home states. These services will continue as per the current system and on request of the concerned state governments.
So far the Railways has run 366 "shramik" trains since May 1, carrying around four lakh migrants back to their home states. These have been run with strict rules regarding people in each coach, something likely to be followed for restarting passenger trains as well.
India has reported over 60,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with more than 2,000 deaths linked to the virus.