The New Delhi Railway Station wears a deserted look amid restrictions imposed in the wake of increasing cases of coronavirus, on March 21, 2020.
The New Delhi Railway Station wears a deserted look amid restrictions imposed in the wake of increasing cases of coronavirus, on March 21, 2020. |IANS

Special trains to have only AC coaches; passengers urged to carry food, water, linen

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 11, 2020

The 15 pairs of special trains that the Indian Railways will start from tomorrow in a partial restoration of passenger rail services in the country, during the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will have only air-conditioned classes -- first, second and third AC coaches.

The fare structure for the ‘Special Trains’ shall be as applicable for the regular time-tabled Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges, an official press release said.

These services shall be in addition to the Shramik specials for transporting migrant workers, students, tourists, pilgrims and other stranded persons to their home states, which are under operation from May 1.

All other regular passenger services, including all mail, express, passenger and suburban services, shall remain cancelled until further advice, the release said.

Only online e-ticketing will be done through the IRCTC website or through its mobile app for these trains. No tickets will be booked across the reservation counter at any railway station. Booking of tickets through agents, (both IRCTC agents and Railway agents) shall not be permitted. The maximum Advance Reservation Period (ARP) will be seven days.

Only confirmed e-tickets shall be booked. Booking of RAC/Waiting list ticket and on board booking by ticket checking staff shall not be permitted. Current booking, tatkal and premium tatkal booking shall not be permitted. No unreserved tickets (UTS) shall be permitted.

No catering charges shall be included in the fare. Provision for pre-paid meal booking and e-catering shall be disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis. Information to this effect shall be made available to passengers at the time of booking tickets.

Passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. Dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water shall be provided, on demand, inside the trains on payment basis.

All passengers will be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to enter the station or board the train.

Only passengers with confirmed tickets shall be allowed to enter the railway station. All passengers will have to wear face covers/masks at the entry and during travel.

Passengers will have to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. Only passengers who are found asymptomatic will be permitted to travel.

Passengers shall observe social distancing both at the station and on trains. On arrival at their destination, the passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state.

Online cancellation shall be permitted up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. No cancellation will be permitted less than 24 hours before departure of the train. Cancellation charge shall be 50% of fare.

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 at stations and on trains and observe the safety, security and hygiene protocols.

All passengers are advised to download and use the Aarogya Setu application, the release said.

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.

No stalls/ booths on the platforms shall be opened. No train side vending would be permitted. Passengers are advised to travel light.

As per MHA guidelines, the movement of the passenger(s) as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passenger(s) to and fro the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.