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Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger trains operations from May 12

After more than a 50- day lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Railways has planned to reopen the operation of passenger trains from tomorrow. The bookings will begin at 4 pm today, May 11. All passenger trains have been halted since the day on which Janata Curfew was declared, i.e., March 22.

All the trains that will function are going to be air-conditioned and the fares will be similar to the Rajdhani Express fares.
This decision was taken as India’s third phase of lockdown nears an end, and hints further relaxations or the complete lift of lockdown.

15 pairs of trains are decided to operate daily from tomorrow, Tuesday. These trains will run under the category of special trains from New Delhi station Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, and Jammu Tawi; and are supposed to have only limited stoppages according to officials.

Booking for reservations on these trains is scheduled to start today at 4 pm. The tickets can be purchased in online mode only, either through the IRCTC website or through the IRCTC mobile app. The booking centres at stations will remain closed. Tatkal or premium Tatkal accommodation will not be available.

No platform tickets will be sold. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the station. All the travellers must wear a facemask and undergo thorough medical screenings at the stations. And as such, every passenger might be required to arrive at the station at least an hour before the journey to make time for screening and other security protocols. Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed for the journey.

Blankets and linen will not be supplied to anyone, to contain the spread of the virus. Temperatures will also be kept slightly higher and railways will always ensure the supply of fresh air. Pantry services will also be unavailable.
With 20,000 coaches setup as Coronavirus care centers and 150 ‘Shramik Special’ trains for stranded migrants, the Ministry is also planning to arrange the remaining coaches to increase the number of trains.

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