Passengers who wish to travel on "special trains" to be operated by railways must arrive at the stations 90 minutes before departure time, wear masks, and preferably bring their food, as well as linen and travel light, as per the guidelines issued on Monday.
The railways said that Till 1930 hrs on Monday, more than 18,000 tickets were booked
A railway spokesperson said by 9:15 pm, about three hours after the reservation was opened, nearly 30,000 PNRs were generated and the reservation was issued to more than 54,000 passengers.
On Sunday, Railways announced plans to start 15 pairs of special trains on May 12 onwards as part of plans to gradually restart passenger service.
Bookings for these trains start from New Delhi to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi, were to commence at 4 pm on Monday. However, this had to be postponed for two hours as the “data pertaining to special trains” on the IRCTC website was not updated.
These trains will only contain air-conditioned classes, i.e. first AC, second AC, and third AC, and tickets can only be booked through the IRCTC website or mobile app. Passengers will not be able to book either through the reservation office or through "agents".
In addition, the pre-booking period of tickets is reserved for a maximum of seven days, and only confirmed e-tickets will be booked. RAC / Waiting List ticket and the onboard reservation will not be permitted by ticket checking staff.
Railways said, "Current booking and premium tatkal booking will not be allowed. No Unreserved tickets (UTS) will not be allowed. “For the movement of the passenger(s) as well as the driver of the vehicle that transporting the passenger(s) to and fro the railway station will be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket.”
The structure of the "private trains" fare will be the same as the Rajdhani trains, excluding meal charges. While the availability of prepaid food reservation and electronic meal service will be disabled, "dry, ready-to-eat dry food and water packaged upon request will be provided on trains based on payment passengers to carry their own food and clean water."
Online cancellation of tickets is permitted only 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train with a 50% cancellation fee.
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The railways said that all passengers will be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be able to enter and board trains. They will also have to wear face masks and observe social distancing. No sheets, blankets or curtains will be provided on the train and passengers are advised to bring their own linen.
"The temperature inside the coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose,” the railways said.
Furthermore, the railways have also advised passengers to download and use the government’s Aarogya Setu application. In addition, no stalls or booths will be opened on platforms and no train side vending will be permitted."Passengers are advised to travel lightly."
The zonal railways have been instructed to ensure separate entry and exit gates at railway stations as much as possible so that there is no face-to-face movement of passengers.
Source: TheHinduAlso Read: So will Narendra Modi use COVID for major economic reforms?