While 34 trains will start daily from four stations of Delhi except Old Delhi, over a dozen will depart from Mumbai and 11 from Howrah and Sealdah. While a maximum of 24 pairs of these trains will start or terminate in Bihar, 16 pairs will originate or terminate in Uttar Pradesh.
The special trains will be run on the pattern of regular trains like Purushottam Express, Brahmaputra Mail and Sampoorn Kranti Express. Hence the timings will be like that of pre-lockdown period and stoppages on the route will be same as earlier. The list has 22 Janshatabdi trains as well. “This is first step towards resuming normal passenger train service,” said a railway ministry official.
On Tuesday, the railway ministry had said all these will be special non-AC trains. On Wednesday, it said these will be trains with both AC and non-AC classes; and even general coaches shall have reserved seats for sitting. Hence there will be no unreserved coach in any of these trains. The AC coaches in the trains will be similar to the norm followed before the lockdown.
Fare shall be as normal and since the general coaches will also be reserved, second class seating fare will be charged.
“Only online e-ticketing will be done through IRCTC website or through mobile app. The advance reservation period shall be maximum 30 days. RAC and wait listed tickets will be generated, but waiting list ticket holders shall not be permitted to board the train. Hence, there will be no crowding,” a railway ministry spokesperson said.
He said no Tatkal and premium Tatkal bookings shall be permitted for these trains. However, current booking will be allowed online.
All passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board the trains. The passengers travelling by these trains will observe precautions like those followed for special AC trains which are currently being run between Delhi and 15 other cities.
All quotas shall be permitted on these special trains, the ministry said.
Catering charges will not be included in the fare and there will be provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis only on limited trains. Passengers will be encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water.
“All static catering and vending units (multi-purpose stalls, bookstalls, chemist stalls) at railway stations will remain open. In case of food plaza and refreshments rooms, cooked items may be served as takeaway with no sit-down eating arrangements in place,” the ministry said.
It also said that no linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided on these trains. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel.
(With inputs of Rajiv Mani in Lucknow)