As a relief for thousands amidst the hardship of lockdowns imposed in the country to break the chain of transmission of the Coronavirus, the Indian Railways to resume operations of 15 passenger trains from Tuesday, May 12 for the first time since the lockdown was announced. The Railways will begin ticket bookings for the trains from 4 pm today, May 11, through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), its subsidiary arm.
The move will allow thousands who have been waiting for the resumption of transport services to get back home since the lockdowns were imposed and the inter-state travel was restricted.
The 15 trains which are expected to resume functions from May 12, as per the Indian Railways, will cover routes from – New Delhi connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
However, the trains will only include AC coaches having fares similar to that of premium Rajdhani trains. These will include 1 AC, 2 AC and 3 AC class. The 15 trains will operate with nearly full capacity. The trains will also have stoppages at major stations.
The Indian Railways has allowed the online booking of tickets which is expected to begin from 4 pm today, however, ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no tickets will be issued at the stations.
Masks have been made mandatory in these trains for the passengers. Moreover, the people willing to travel will be screened at the stations and those found with no symptoms like COVID-19 will only be allowed to board the train.
As per the sources, the passengers travelling will not be provided blankets or linen. Also, the AC temperatures will be kept slightly high in an attempt to ensure more fresh air ventilates the coaches. Moreover, pantry services will not be provided during the journey.