Indian Railways has extended all passenger train operations till May 3 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown extension by 19 more days till the same date. "In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19 Lockdown, it has been decided that all passenger train services on Indian Railways including Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, Passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway, etc, shall continue to remain cancel till the 2400hrs of 3rd May 2020," a Railways statement said.
The IRCTC ticket holders would get full refund without having to cancel their tickets, the railways said. The Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter has extended the date to claim refund so people don't go rushing to railway stations to do so.
It also said all ticket bookings would remain cancelled till May 3. "All counters for booking of rail journey tickets for reserved/unreserved travel at railway stations and outside railway station premises shall remain closed up to 2400 hrs of 3rd May 2020," it said.
The national transporter had earlier cancelled all passenger trains till April 14 but allowed booking from April 15 onwards.
The national transporter will, however, allow all freight trains to operate to avoid disruption of essential goods' supply. Several e-commerce giants have also turned to railways for transporting their products.
As part of its coronavirus response efforts, the Indian Railways turned several old coaches into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients. Last month, it asked its production units to look for ways to start manufacturing of medical equipments. A Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala also developed a low-cost ventilator prototype called' Jeevan'.