Hyderabad: In what seems to be a relief to many stranded citizens across the country, the Indian Railways has decided to gradually restart passenger trains from May 12. In a statement released on May 10, the Indian Railways announced that 15 pairs of trains (with 30 return journeys) will run as special trains amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The trains will start from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
The Indian Railways further announced that booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on May 11. Booking can be done online via https://www.irctc.co.in. However, ticket booking counters at railway stations will remain closed, and no platform tickets pr counter tickets will be issued.
Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Travelling passengers will have to cover their face and undergo screening at the departure station as well.
The railways also specified that more special services will be re-stared on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres. Adequate number of coaches will be reserved for Shramik special trains (up to 300 trains daily) meant for stranded migrants.
Details regarding train schedule will be issued separately, Indian Railways said.