Train services start: Everything you must know

After being suspended for nearly two months because of coronavirus lockdown, the railway services in India will resume. However, you can only buy a ticket online. The online bookings for railway tickets are available on the official website of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRTC) starting from 4 pm Monday.

The resumption of railway services was important as so many migrants are left stranded in the big city during the lockdown. However, there will be only 15 routes unlocked. Those trains link New Delhi to other cities including Mumbai Central, Dibrugarh, Howrah, Agartala, Bilaspur, Patna, Ranchi, Secunderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Madgaon, Jammu Tawi and Ahmedabad.

To look after the issues of migrant workers, the Railways began running Shramik Special trains to transport migrants from May 1 and 15 pairs of special trains on the Rajdhani route for the general public under certain restrictions. On the other hand, the parcel and freight trains were in operation through all the lockdown periods which began on May 25.

A railway spokesperson said: “There is no change in rail operations. It will be the same as in Lockdown 3. The Shramik Special trains and the 15 pairs of special trains will continue to run along with our freight and parcel services,”

Before you book train tickets, here are a few things that you need to know:

•    The trains will have major stoppages but there will be only AC coaches.

•    The only way to book tickets is through the official website of IRTC. The offline ticket counters won’t be working.

•    Your booking is only successful if you receive valid confirmation from the system. Please arrive at the station earlier than usual for security clearance.

•    All the passengers have to wear a face mask.

•    Only healthy people, who will show no signs of coronavirus, will be allowed to get on trains. All the passengers will go through screening at the train stations.

•    You have to get your blankets. No linens will be provided.

•    There will be no pantry services as well.

•    The special trains for stranded migrant, Shramik Special trains will continue to run as usual but there will be only sleeper coaches and no stoppages on the route.

•    The ministry plans to run over 300 trains per day.

•    All the passengers require to download Argogya Setu application

•    All the trains are properly sanitized before resuming the services.

By now over 82,300 passengers had secured tickets to these trains to travel. Within just 20 minutes of the booking opening, the Howrah-New Delhi train was sold out. The trains are fully booked for the next five days.