IRCTC Train List, Route: Nearly two months after it suspended its passenger operations in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Railways on Sunday announced that it will gradually restart its passenger train operations from May 12. The tickets will be available from 4 PM Monday on the IRCTC website.
The Indian Railways on Monday said travellers would have to reach the stations 90 minutes in advance to board the special Rajdhani trains. The Railways also said passengers would have to bring their own food and blankets and bed sheets from home. The Railways also “advised” passengers of these trains to download the Aarogya Setu app even though it is not a precondition to travel.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the movement of people by trains and made it clear that only asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be allowed to travel.
Railways is planning to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys.) 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.
The booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on May 11 and will be available only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passenger to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
Details, including train schedule, will be issued separately in due course.
According to guidelines by the Home Ministry, only asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be allowed to travel. The Ministry of Railways will ensure that passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only those who are asymptomatic will be allowed to enter or board a train.
All passengers will have to wear face masks and observe social distancing norms during while entering a station and during travel. “Only those passengers with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station. 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,” the order said.
All passengers shall be provided hand sanitiser at stations and in coaches. On arrival at their destination, the passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state.
Passengers will need to bring their own food and blankets and bed sheets from home. While pre-packed snacks, biscuits will be available with the onboard catering staff, they will be sold to passengers who need them, just like the airlines do. These trains are identical to Rajdhani Express in terms of fare, speed, and route.
So far the decision is to carry the trains with full capacity and not cap the occupancy to two-thirds. However, waiting lists will not be allowed so that the number of passengers will be equal to the number of berths, unlike in normal times.
Railways will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as ‘Shramik Special’ for stranded migrants. The existing ‘Shramik special’ trains will continue to run as per the current system on the request of the concerned state governments.
No concession will be allowed on the trains. The fares of these trains will be that of Rajdhani trains, which means all these will be all air-conditioned trains and will be available on premium fares.
In effect, these special trains are Rajdhani Express trains. All AC and on terms of premium fares. @IndianExpress
— Avishek Dastidar (@avishekgd) May 10, 2020
-With inputs from Avishek Dastidar