While the Railways continued to run freight trains during the lockdown period to ensure that the supply of goods and commodities around the country the passenger train services were completely halted till April.
Although 'Shramik' special trains began plying at the start of May, ferrying stranded migrant workers back to their native places. However, the movement for the general public at large was still curtailed.
On May 10, the Indian Railways said it will run 15 pairs of trains and that bookings for 15 passenger trains will start from Monday.
"These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, and Jammu Tawi," a release by the Railways read.
While most of the trains will be run on a daily basis, others in the list will also run on a weekly, bi-weekly, and tri-weekly basis, according to the Ministry of Railways.
It further stated that only online bookings for the special trains shall be allowed and ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed.
According to sources in the Railways, close to 30,000 PNRs has been generated and reservations were issued to more than 54,000 passengers till 9:15 pm on Monday.
The Ministry of Railways has made it mandatory for all passengers to download and use the Aarogya Setu application and also said that no catering charges shall be included in the fare and provision for prepaid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled.
It also advised passengers to carry their own linen for travel as no linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided inside the train. Apart from this, all passengers will be compulsorily screened at the station and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
"Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and an adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as 'Shramik Special' for stranded migrants," said the release.