Since they were suspended in March after a nationwide lockdown, suburban train services in the state will resume on November 11, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
The decision was taken in a meeting between state government and railway officials. They are expected to finalise the standard operation procedures (SOPs) in a meeting on November 9.
After an hour of the meeting, Goyal tweeted: “The Railways will resume suburban services in West Bengal from November 11… With adequate safety measures in place, this will enhance passenger convenience and facilitate smooth travel for the people.”
According to a preliminary decision, a total of 362 train services (181 pairs) will ply in Howrah and Sealdah divisions. Of these trains, the Eastern Railways will run 329 — 101 for Howrah and 228 for Sealdah. The rest 33 trains will be run by the South-Eastern Railway. Details about train schedule are expected to be published either on Monday or Tuesday.
To discuss resumption of services keeping in mind Covid-19 protocols, railway and state officials first met on November 2. Sources said the railways proposed in the meeting that trains can be operated with a 50 per cent passenger strength.
The meeting was undertaken after the railways, in a letter to the West Bengal government, expressed its readiness to resume suburban or local train services.
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