New Delhi: Indian Railways may soon restart Shatabdi, Mail and Express trains on select routes as India is set to enter phase four of coronavirus lockdown with some more relaxations expected after May 17.
The circular, which has been accessed by News18, states that booking tickets in waiting list will also be allowed but only limited reservations can be made in the category. It may, however, be noted that without a confirmed ticket nobody would be allowed to board the train. In such cases full fares would be refunded.
Also, in case a passenger is unable to board the train due to Covid-19-like symptoms, the ticket amount would be refunded.
According to the order issued on Wednesday, the introduction of the provision of waiting list will begin from May 15 for trains plying from May 22. The waiting list had been capped up to for AC 3 tier, 50 for AC 2 tier, 200 for Sleeper Class, 100 for chair cars, and 20 each for First AC and Executive Class — truncating the queues for confirmed tickets significantly.
In order to maintain adequate measures of social distancing, no RAC (Reservation Against Confirmation), which allows seat sharing, would be allowed for now.
The changes will come into effect for tickets booked from May 15 for journeys beginning from May 22.
The order from the Railway board to the zones indicates that the Railways is planning to run mixed services instead of the presently all air-conditioned trains. This also means that it could begin services to smaller towns along with the major cities that its Rajdhani specials cater to now.
So far there is no order from the Railways to begin more services.
Indian Railways, India's lifeline recently started to ply 15 pair of trains to various locations to test waters ahead of further opening of lockdown as being proposed post 17th May...
All these trains will begin their journey and will come back to Delhi from several destinations like Howrah, Bhubaneshwar, Dibrugarh, Bilaspur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Patna, Bengaluru, Chennai to name a few. Some trains are running daily, some biweekly and some weekly.
Since the peak of coronavirus cases in the last week of April, Railways shut it's operation for public transport and has resumed on 12th after 50 plus days...
In fact, in his meeting with Chief Ministers on Monday, PM Narendra Modi had said that the government is mulling on starting more trains for public on a few routes but the number of stoppages would only be a few.