If the COVID-19 pandemic remains under control and state government gives a go-ahead, the passenger train services is expected to be restored to the pre-pandemic levels over the next two months, reported Financial Express on Friday.
However, there won’t be regular services. The pre-pandemic level is likely to be achieved by only special trains, which Indian Railways had started in a phased manner at marginally higher fares last May. These fully reserved special trains don’t offer most of the concession categories.
The national transporter had resumed the special train services in May last year after all passenger services were suspended in view of the pandemic lockdown in March, 2020. The regular services still remain suspended.
Currently, 66% of services are functioning, all special ones, as per PTI. This included 77% mail and express trains, 91% of suburban trains, and only 20% of passenger trains on the tracks. A railway official said services would reach the pre-pandemic levels in two weeks with special services, but this depends on the COVID-19 situation and the states’ approval.
During pre-pandemic days, the Indian Railways used to run 1,768 express and mail trains every day, which now stands at 1,353. For passenger trains, the figure is 3,634 per day in the pre-pandemic time and only 740 now. And for suburban, it is 5,881 then vs 5,381 now.
The COVID-19 situation in the country is currently seeing an upward surge. India reported 81,466 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, the highest in a day since last October.