Indian Railways plans to restart passenger trains in a phased manner starting May 12, the national transporter said in statement on Sunday evening, with ticket bookings to be opened from 4 pm on Monday. Tickets will only be available through the IRCTC website, with ticket counters (including those for platform tickets) at all stations to remain closed.
Passenger services, suspended since the coronavirus lockdown that began March 25, will start with 15 “special” trains (total of 30 journeys) departing from Delhi and connecting cities in Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jammu, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Tripura.
Only passengers with confirmed and valid tickets will be allowed to enter the station at Delhi, the Railways warned, adding that all passengers would also have to wear face masks, under screening at departure (only those without COVID-19 symptoms will be allowed to board) and maintain social distancing at all times.
“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,” the Railways’ statement said.
All trains will run with AC coaches only and will have limited stoppage. Details regarding train schedule will be issued in due course, the Railways added.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted confirmation: “Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi with major stations across India. Booking in these trains will start at 4 pm on May 11”.