The Railways has decided to go back to releasing the second reservation chart 30 minutes before a train’s departure. The old system will be restored from October 10.
In view of the COVID crisis, the railways had advanced the time for preparation of the second reservation chart to two hours before a train’s departure after the first chart is released four hours prior. The various railway zones wanted the old system to be restored as it provided better convenience to passengers.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, instructions were issued to shift the time of preparation of the second reservation chart to two hours before scheduled/ rescheduled time of train departure,” the Railways said in a statement.
“As per request of zonal railways for ensuring convenience of rail passengers, the matter has been examined and it has been decided that the second reservation chart shall be prepared at least 30 minutes before scheduled/rescheduled time of departure of train,” it said.
As such, the ticket booking facility shall be available before preparation of the second chart. “CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System) will make the necessary modifications in the software accordingly so as to restore this provision with effect from October 10,” it said.
The railways prepares the first reservation chart four hours before the departure of train from a station. Passengers can continue booking tickets for the train either online or through the passenger reservation system (PRS) counters at stations subject to availability of seats. Passengers are also allowed to cancel confirmed tickets during the window and the refund is provided as per the cancellation rules.
The second reservation chart is then prepared between 30 minutes and five minutes before the departure of the train.
The Railways had suspended all passenger services after the COVID lockdown was announced on March 24. It operated only freight trains for a couple of months. However, it resumed some services in May to help labourers stranded at various places as they were forced to migrate due to the COVID lockdown.