The Indian Railways will be restarting passenger trains from Tuesday, five days prior to the end of the nation-wide lockdown. An official statement was released offering basic information on the train services. Additionally, bookings will be open online from 4pm today. They will be sold only via the official IRCTC website and the mobile application.
Train services will resume in a phased manner
Booking tickets from any other agent will not be allowed. All counters at stations will stay closed. Train services were first suspended in March when the first phase of the lockdown was announced. Further, services will resume in a phased manner with 15 ‘special’ trains that will depart from Delhi and connect cities in Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jammu, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Tripura.
Passengers with valid tickets will be allowed to enter the platform in Delhi. Also, to ensure safety, all passengers will have to wear face masks, undergo screenings, and maintain social distancing at all times. Further, only asymptomatic people will be allowed to travel.
The trains will run with AC coaches and have limited stoppages. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a confirmation: “Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India. Booking in these trains will start at 4 pm on May 11”. More “special” trains will ply based on the availability of coaches, the Railways said.