NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways on Sunday said it is planning to gradually restart the passenger train operations from May 12 with 15 trains. In the initial phase, 15 pairs of 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.
"Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as 'Shramik Special' for stranded migrants," the Ministry of Railways said in a statement. Booking for the reservation in these trains will start at 4 p.m. on Monday and will be available only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). "Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course," it said. The Indian Railways has stopped the passenger services in March with the announcement of the nationwide lockdown. However trains carrying the migrants have started from last week.