Indian Railways will run 392 special trains in view of the upcoming festival season for a duration of 40 days -- from October 20 till November 30. Among these trains, some will be run regularly, while others will run three or four days a week. The railways will also run weekly trains.
These trains will run for places like Patna, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi to meet the growing demand in the holiday season of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhath Puja.
List of routes where special trains will be operational:
The special festival trains will run in addition to the already functional special trains deployed by the public transporter. A total of 666 mail and express are running currently while regular trains continue to remain suspended due to coronavirus.
According to the Ministry of Railways, the fares for these trains will be fixed in accordance with regular trains. This implies that 'special charges' shall be levied which, in turn, will make the tickets more expensive by 10-30% as compared to the fares applicable on mail and express trains, depending on the travel class.
The Railways Protection Force (RPF) has also released a set of guidelines for travellers keeping in mind the COVID-19 crisis and the festive season. These include wearing a face mask/face cover properly, maintaining adequate social distancing and ensuring the passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus don't enter the station.
While it is not compulsory for passengers to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate during travel, they are expected to be responsible. Any passenger found to be violating the guidelines will be punished or fined under section 145, 153 and 154 of the Railway Act, 1989