New Delhi: About 200 regular time tabled trains (100 pairs) begin their journey on Monday carrying around 1.45 lakh passengers on the first day of ‘Unlock 1.0’ as the government eased lockdown restrictions announced to fight the Covid-19 pandemic across the country.
As many as 1.45 lakh passengers have booked tickets to travel on June 1, the first day of resumption of rail traffic. More than 26 lakh passengers have booked the advanced reservation tickets from June 1 to 30, data available with the Union Ministry of Railways said.
According to Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav, the Railways will run more trains on specific routes that have high demand and also Shatabdi trains will be redeployed and booking will start soon.
Booking of tickets for these trains is being done online through the IRCTC website or the mobile app. The Railways has also allowed from May 22 the booking of reservation tickets through reservation counters, Common Service Centres (CSCs), and ticketing agents.
These “special trains run on the pattern of regular trains” will cover tier 2 cities and also major state capitals like Mumbai and Kolkata, the Railways said.
The train movement signals opening up of the economy as part of ‘Unlock 1’, the Central government’s scheme to gradually reopen the country outside of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) containment zones and restart economic activities.
These trains will run in addition to 15 pair Special Rajdhani Express started on May 12 and Shramik Special trains, meant to ferry migrant workers, started on May 1.
For travel in 200 special trains, only confirmed/RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) ticket holders will be allowed to enter the railway station. Passengers have been advised to come 90 minutes early to station to enable screening by railway authorities.
They have been requested to maintain social distancing in the station, wear mask and download the Arogya Setu app in their mobile phone.
These trains have stops in most of the places except Maharashtra where the state government has requested the Centre not to allow deboarding of any passengers due to the declaration of several places in the state as hotspots.