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Reservations issued to more than 54,000 passengers in 3 hours: Railways

IRCTC Special Train Ticket Booking Online: So far the decision is to carry the trains with full capacity and not cap the occupancy to two-thirds like has been for the Shramik Specials to ensure social distancing in the coaches.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2020 9:53:52 pm
The tickets will be available from 4 PM today on the IRCTC website

IRCTC Train Ticket Booking Online: With passenger train services set to begin from Tuesday, the Indian Railways on Monday said reservations were issued to more than 54,000 passengers within three hours. Initially, the Railways announced booking of tickets on the IRCTC website on Monday from 4 pm, but the website did not respond due to huge traffic of prospective passengers. The services of the portal resumed around 6 pm.

The Railways has issued new guidelines for travel on 15 pairs of special trains, asking passengers to bring their own food and blankets and bed sheets from home. The passengers should arrive at stations at least 90 minutes before departure for health screening.

The Railways also “advised” passengers of these trains to download the Aarogya Setu app even though it is not a precondition to travel. “All passengers are advised to download and use the Aarogya Setu application,” the Indian Railways spokesman said.

Unlike the actual Rajdhanis, these will be a frugal affair. 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 Rajdhani identical in terms of fare, speed, and route.

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So far the decision is to carry the trains with full capacity and not cap the occupancy to two-thirds like has been for the Shramik Specials to ensure social distancing in the coaches. 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.

Owing to the lockdown and the resultant unavailability of resources and labour, bed sheets, pillows etc will also not be provided on these trains. This is also to avoid the risk of infection, just in case. The toilets will not be cleaned by some staff travelling on the train as Onboard Housekeeping Services will be unavailable on most of the trains originating from Delhi due to the unavailability of contract labourers for the job.

There will be a heavy screening at the stations by the Railway Protection Force, officials said. Only those with confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the stations.

On the list of destinations from New Delhi railway station are Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi and back. Officially Railways termed it a “gradual resumption of passenger services” Sunday, however, sources said more trains will be added to the services list in the coming days.

The Shramik Specials rules have also been revised to now carry the full seating capacity instead of carrying only two-third. The trains will now also have up to three stoppages in the destination state before the final terminating station, Railways ordered.

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