The Indian Railways said on Sunday (May 10) that it will gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains, connecting 15 major cities in the country.
The Indian Railways said in a statement that these 15 trains will be run as special trains from the New Delhi station, connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, and Jammu Tawi.
Booking for reservation in these special trains will commence at 4 pm on Monday (May 11). However, tickets can be booked for these trains only through the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/).
Ticket booking counters at railway stations will not be opened and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) will be issued, the statement noted.
Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter railway stations at the respective cities. It is mandatory for passengers to wear face masks and undergo screening at departure. The Indian Railways added that people are expected to maintain social distancing at all times — before boarding, during the journey, and after reaching the destination.
The statement also said only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the trains.
“Details regarding the train schedule will be issued in due course,” it said.
After the resumption of these services, they will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres, and after ensuring that adequate number of coaches have been reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as ‘Shramik Special’ trains for stranded migrants.
All passenger train services had been suspended earlier due to the lockdown announced on March 25 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
(With inputs from agencies)