Bookings for Indian Railways' special 15 air-conditioned trains has begun form 4 pm today. Indian Railways, yesterday, announced that it will resume passenger services with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys) on Rajdhani routes from May 12.
The tickets can be booked online via IRCTC's official website www.irctc.co.in. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall also remain closed. The fare would be equivalent to the super-fast train.
These special trains would run from New Delhi to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi. The trains won't have any general bogies attached to them.
Only the passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. Travellers need to wear masks and will be given hand sanitiser at entry, exit points at the station and in coaches. They have also been asked to reach the railway stations at least 90 minutes before the train's departure.
Railway officials said that unlike Shramik Special trains used to transport migrant labourers in which only 54 passengers were allowed instead of 72, these trains will run on full capacity.
Railways is also looking to start more special services on new routes based on availability after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and up to 300 Shramik Special trains every day.
Interestingly, passengers in these trains may not receive any blankets and linen to reduce the chances of the coronavirus spread, officials told. There would also be special norms for the air-conditioning inside the coaches.