In a major announcement, the Indian Railways on Sunday announced a gradual restart of passenger trains from Tuesday.
This comes five days before the end of the extended lockdown in the country as it walks towards the easing of the coronavirus-infused lockdown.
Railways in a statement said ticket booking will start at 4 pm on Monday and would be sold only via the IRCTC website or the mobile app. It further added that the booking through the ticket agents wouldn’t be allowed.
Some 30 train journeys — 15 pairs of return trips — will run from New Delhi to other cities including Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, Indian Railways said.
“Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, 2020… Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes,” the Railways Ministry said in a statement.
“It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure, and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.”
Only Rajdhani-model trains have been allowed since these do not have unreserved coaches, given the need to maintain social distancing. The fares will be similar to those for Rajdhani trains. Tatkal bookings and waitlists will not be allowed.
One of the world’s largest train networks, which had carried more than 20 million passengers daily, was halted on March 25 as the strict lockdown measures were imposed to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.