India reopens railway service for passengers from May 12 as a part of its exit plan from the lockdown. However, the exercise will take place in a phased manner considering the COVID-19 challenge. To begin with, the Railways will take 15 pairs of trains to operation from Delhi. Booking for reservations will start at 4 PM on the 11th of May.
Railway Ministry on Sunday stated about the resumption of the service with brief information on trains and travel guidelines. As per the statement, the trains will run as special ones from Delhi to 15 different stations. Gradually, more passenger trains will come on different routes.
The government has made the IRCTC website only to provide tickets; keeping the counter ticketing on close mode, even for the platform ticket. A passenger-only with a confirmed ticket can travel on the train after passing the screening at the departure. Besides, face cover is mandatory for passengers.
The special trains will be other than the 300 Sharmik Specials running daily from May 3 carrying migrant laborers.
Railways had suspended passenger services on 24th March as the government clamped all India lockdown as a protective measure against the vicious COVID-19. Since then, the lockdown has got two extensions, however, with gradual dilution in restrictions. Five days before the current term of the lockdown, ending on the 17th of May, the Indian government has decided to resume passenger trains.
These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi, says the railways.