Indian Railways is set to roll out 40 clone (duplicate) trains on high demand routes from Monday, September 21. The national transporter will run 20 pairs, or 40 clone locomotives, in the wake of huge demand for travel on specific routes.
This will be the first time that Indian Railways will operate the trains on high demand routes with the advance reservation for them being 10 days.
The trains will run in addition to the 310 special trains already in service and will be fully reserved with their stoppages being limited to operational halts.
These clone trains will run two-three hours prior to departure of the corresponding parent train, Indian Railways had said earlier.
Below mentioned are the key details to know on the timings, routes, stoppages of clone trains:
- These clone trains -- primarily 3-AC trains with fewer halts, higher speeds, and a departure time before the parent train -- come as a boon for passengers who have to travel in an emergency or have made last-minute plans, an official told PTI.
- Their stoppages will be limited to operational halts or the Divisional Headquarters en route, if any, thereby reducing their journey time, the official added.
- These trains are planned in a way that they will reach their destinations two to three hours in advance, a senior official told the news agency.
- Railways have introduced these 20 pairs of trains on high demand routes with most trains between Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
- While tickets for 19 pairs of these trains -- all 18 coaches -- will be charged at the Humsafar Express rates, the fare will be at par with the Janshatabdi Express rates for the 22-coach clone train between Lucknow and Delhi.
- The advance reservation period for these trains will be 10 days and the booking opened at 8 am on September 19, the Railways said.
- While as of now no dynamic fare is being charged for these trains, sources said they could be considered in the near future.
- The initiative was first announced by then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in 2016, but it failed to take off primarily because of congestion on the rail network.
- While the 19 pairs of Humsafar Express trains will be of 18 coaches, the Lucknow-Delhi train will have 22 coaches.
- According to the list of trains being run by the Railways, 10 (5 pairs) will operate between Bihar and Delhi under the East Central Railways.
- These trains will originate and terminate at Bihar's Saharsa, Rajendra Nagar, Rajgir, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.
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- The two trains operating under the Northeast Frontier Railway are also from Katihar in Bihar to Delhi and back.
- The Northern Railway will also run 10 trains (5 pairs) which will operate between Delhi and Bihar and back, West Bengal to Delhi, Punjab to West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh to Delhi among others.
- The South-Central Railway will operate two trains between Danapur (Bihar) to Secunderabad and back.
- The South-Western Railway will operate 6 trains (3 pairs) between Goa and Delhi, Karnataka-Bihar, and Karnataka-Delhi.
- The Western Railway will run 10 trains (5 pairs) between Bihar (Darbhanga)-Gujarat(Ahmedabad), Delhi-Gujarat, Bihar (Chhapra) to Gujarat (Surat), Mumbai-Punjab, Gujarat(Ahmedabad)-Bihar (Patna).
- The clone trains include New Delhi-Saharsa-New Delhi; New Delhi-Rajgir-New Delhi; New Delhi-Darbhanga-New Delhi; Delhi-Muzaffarpur-Delhi.
- The other trains are--New Delhi-Rajendra Nagar-New Delhi; Delhi-Katihar-Delhi; New Jalpaiguri-Amritsar-New Jalpaiguri; Jayanagar-Amritsar-Jayanagar; New Delhi-Lucknow-New Delhi; Bengaluru-Danapur-Bengaluru.
- The other routes being served through these clone trains are--Varanasi - New Delhi - Varanasi; Ballia -- Delhi -- Ballia; Secunderabad - Danapur - Secunderabad; Vasco-Nizamuddin-Vasco; Yesvantpur-Nizamuddin - Yesvantpur; Ahmedabad-Darbhanga-Ahmedabad; Ahmedabad - Delhi - Ahmedabad; Surat - Chhapra - Surat; Bandra-Amritsar-Bandra; Ahmedabad-Patna-Ahmedabad.
The Railways had suspended all passenger train services due to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown from 25th March. However, it resumed services in a staggered manner, with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from 1st May. Then, it started 230 special trains across the country, followed by another 80 special trains from September 12.
The additional trains were announced keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, and also to allow reverse migration of workers to urban areas for work, with the country entering into Unlock 4.0.