The Indian Railways will resume train bookings through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) from today, almost two months after its services were suspended in view of coronavirus lockdown. During the lockdown period, Railways has so far operated its freight services to transport essential goods across the country and ‘Shramik Special’ trains to ferry stranded migrant workers to their home states.
Here are some FAQs on Indian Railways' resumption of passenger services
How will railway resume passenger services? Where will Indian Railways operate the trains from
Railways is planning to gradually restart passenger train operations from tomorrow, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys.) 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.
By when can passengers start booking trains?
Indian Railways will allow passengers to book trains from 4 pm today.
Do we have to visit Railway counters to book tickets?
Passengers can book book train tickets only through IRCTC's official website - irctc.co.in. No other portal or railway counters are authorised to sell tickets until further notice.
From when will the trains start running?
Passengers can book tickets for trains that will run from tomorrow (May 12) onwards.
Are these separate from Shramik Specials and will there be more trains?
Railways will start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as ‘Shramik Special’ for stranded migrants. The existing ‘Shramik Special’ trains will continue to run as per the current system on the request of the concerned state governments.
Will there be any concessions?
No, there won't be any concessions. Indian Railways offers voluntary concessions to people who fall under certain categories like - senior citizens. However, until further notice, these concession will not be available to anyone.
How much will a ticket cost?
The fares of these trains will be that of Rajdhani trains, which means all these will be all air-conditioned trains and will be available on premium fares.
Rules to follow amid coronavirus
It will be mandatory for the passenger to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Ticket counters will not sell platform ticket, hence, only passengers will valid ticket will be allowed to enter railway platform.
Do note: Details, including train schedule, will be issued separately in due course.