The Indian Railways is gearing up to normalise passenger services and revert back in a phased manner to pre-Covid levels of service. As part of this efforts, the Railways Passenger Reservation System (PRS) will be shut down for 6 hours at night for the next seven days.
The reservation system will be shut from 11:30 pm to 5:30 am from the intervening night of November 14-15 to the night of November 20-21, the Ministry of Railways said in a statement. This is being done to enable upgradation of system data, updating new train numbers, among others.
"Since huge amount of past (old train numbers) and current passenger booking data are to be updated in all Mail/ Express trains, this is being planned in a series of carefully calibrated steps and implemented during night hours in order to minimise impact on ticketing services," the statement said.
During the six-hour period, no PRS services like ticket reservation, current booking, cancellation, enquiry services, among others, will be available.
"During the period, railway personnel will ensure the advance charting for the trains to start during the affected timings. Except for the PRS services, all other enquiry services including 139 services will continue uninterrupted," it added.
Earlier on Friday, the Railway Board in a circular informed about the decision to resume regular trains with pre-COVID fares.
"Ministry of Railways have decided that all the regular timetabled trains which are presently operating as MSPC (mail/express special) & HSP (holiday special) train services, included in the working time table, 2021, shall be operated with regular numbers and with fare and categorisations applicable," the Railway Board said in a letter to the principal chief commercial managers.
The board added that the second class of such trains (mail or express) shall continue to run as reserved except for any relaxation permitted in special cases.
Around 1,700 mail or express trains were being operated by the Railways before the outbreak of COVID-19. These services were halted during the pandemic-induced lockdown. However, several train services were restarted by the Railways, tagging them as special during the unlock process. Thus, the fares were also increased by up to 30 per cent.
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