Indian Railways starts operation of special trains amid coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown
Indian Railways on Tuesday (May 12, 2020) restarted the passenger train services with special trains beginning operation from New Delhi connecting various cities like Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
The Indian Railways had on Monday said that it will run at least 30 trains - 15 pairs of return trips which will be carrying passengers from one destination to another. The trains will run from New Delhi railway station to other cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai.
Three trains will run from New Delhi terminating at Dibrugarh, Bengaluru and Bilaspur, and one each from Howrah, Rajendra Nagar (Patna), Bengaluru, Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad which will all terminate at Delhi.
It also stated that it will now run 100 'Shramik Special' trains daily to facilitate faster movement of workers, adding that 513 such trains have been operated since May 1 ferrying home over six lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The India Railways also issued new guidelines for travelling on these special trains from May 12, asking passengers to carry their own food and linen and arrive at stations at least 90 minutes before departure for health screening.
It also said all passengers must wear face masks during the journey and preferably travel light. The Railways, which has announced the resumption of a limited number of passenger services after a hiatus of around 50 days due to the ongoing lockdown, said the trains to ply from Tuesday will be air-conditioned and will run on full-capacity on the Rajdhani routes from Delhi to all major cities.
The first passenger train to roll out after the unprecedented interval in operations is scheduled to leave the New Delhi railway station for Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh at 4 PM on Tuesday. These special trains will only have AC classes i.E. First, second and third AC. Since the trains will be operated amidst a lockdown, only passengers with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the stations.