Passengers boarding the Mumbai-Varanasi Mahanagri Express, the first of the 200 special trains starting on June 1, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai on  the night of May 31, 2020.
Passengers boarding the Mumbai-Varanasi Mahanagri Express, the first of the 200 special trains starting on June 1, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai on the night of May 31, 2020. |Ministry of Railways

200 special trains to run across country from Monday

More than 1.45 lakh passengers to travel on Day 1; around 26 lakh passengers booked up to June 30

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 31, 2020

As many as 200 special trains wil begin running in the country tomorrow in a partial restoration of train services on the Indian Railways, more than two months after they were suspended on March 25 in the wake of the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The decision was announced earlier this month by the Ministry of Railways (MoR) after consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

An official press release said that more than 1.45 lakh passengers are booked to travel in the 200 trains on day 1.

The trains will be in adddition to the Shramik Special trains that are being run by the Railways from May 1 to carry migrant workers, who are stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown, to their home states as well as the 30 Special AC trains being run since May 12 between Delhi and major cities around the country.

These trains are on the pattern of Regular Trains. They are fully reserved trains having both air-conditioned (AC) and non AC classes. General (GS) coaches have reserved sitting accommodation. There will be no unreserved coach in the train. Normal classpwise fare will be charged and for reserved GS coaches (General sitting), being reserved, second seating (2S) fare for reserved trains shall be charged and seats will be provided to all the passengers, the release said.

At 09.00 hours today, the total bookings of passengers was 25,82,671. Booking of tickets for these trains is being done online through IRCTC website or Mobile App. Indian Railways has also allowed booking of reservation tickets through the reservation counters, Common Service Centers(CSCs) and Ticketing agents with effect from May 22.

The advance reservation period (ARP) of all these 230 Special Trains has been increased from 30 days to 120 days. Booking of parcels and luggage shall be permitted in all these trains.

The above changes have been implemented with effect from 08:00 hours of train booking date of May 31 onwards.

Other terms such as current booking, Tatkal quota allocation of seats to road side stations, and so on are to be same as in regular time-tabled trains. Booking of Tatkal ticket can be done from June 29th for journey date June 30 and onwards.

The release said RAC and wait list will be generated as per extant rules. No unreserved (UTS) tickets will be issued and no tickets will be issued onboard to any passenger during the journey.

Along with fully confirmed and RAC passengers, partially waitlisted ticket holders (if in single PNR there are confirmed & WL passengers both) will also be allowed. Waitlisted passengers will not be allowed.

First chart shall be prepared at least 4 hours before scheduled departure and second chart shall be prepared at least 2 hours (unlike present practice of 30 minutes) before scheduled departure.

All passengers must wear face covers/masks at the entry and during travel. They shall reach the station 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. All passengers shall be compulsorily screened for COVID-19 and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to enter /board the train.

On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/UT.

If during screening at the station a passenger has very high temperature/symptoms of COVID-19, he shall not be allowed to travel despite having confirmed tickets.

No catering charges shall be included in the fare. Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis only in limited trains, having pantry car attached.

Passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. All static catering and vending units (Multi Purpose stalls, Bookstalls, Misc./Chemist stalls etc) at railway stations will remain open. In case of Food Plaza and Refreshments rooms etc, cooked items may be served as take away only with no sit-down eating arrangements in place

No linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided inside the train. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. The temperature inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose.

Zonal Railways have been instructed to ensure that there are separate entry and exit gates at railway stations to the extent feasible so that there is no face to face movement of passengers. Zonal railways will be guided by standard social distancing guidelines on stations and trains and observe the safety, security and hygiene protocols.

All passengers must download and use the Aarogya Setu application. Passengers are advised to travel light, the release added.