Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been some news of relief for the citizens from the Indian Railways. Apparently, besides the 15 special Shramik trains which are already active from May 12, another 200 AC and Non-AC trains will begin their operations on a daily basis from June 1.
After a gap of about nine weeks, the Indian railways has finally decided to expand its operations further. The passenger trains which are to resume their services from June 1 will mainly be covering major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi and others. For this, the online bookings have already started from May 21.
On May 19, in a series of tweets, the Indian Railway Minister, Mr Piyush Goyal announced that with the phase 4 of lockdown ending soon, train services on PAN India basis are to resume their functions in a gradual step-by-step manner. This move has been made to help the migrant workers return to their home.
Recently, the Railway Ministry also released its guidelines which would be mandatory to follow while travelling on trains from June 1. Here is everything you need to know about the train booking information and more.
Instructions for Booking Train Tickets
Railways will be charging their regular fares as far as General, Reserved, and Second Class coaches are concerned. Apart from this, there won’t be any unreserved coaches on the trains and the Shramik trains will continue to be handled by the respective state governments.
- You can book the tickets online from IRCTC website, CSCs (Common Service Centers) and other ticketing agents as well. However, people are encouraged to book only from IRCTC.
- The reservation counters have been opened from May 22 and are bound to function in a step-by-step manner according to the real-time demand for train tickets by the customers.
- The Advance reservation period will be of 30 days and people on the waiting list won’t be allowed to board the train and no train tickets will be issued on board.
The New Way of Boarding the Trains During and Post the Pandemic
As far as boarding the trains is concerned, the passengers will have to follow strict guidelines while maintaining social distancing. Here are the important deets you need to know before you book your train tickets.
- All the passengers will be screened in real-time and only those showing no symptoms would be allowed to board the train.
- Only Passengers with confirmed railway tickets would be allowed to board the train.
- It would be mandatory for all the passengers to wear masks at the entry gate as well as during the whole journey.
- Social distancing would be mandatory for the passengers at all times whether outside or inside the trains.
- As a rule, the passengers would need to reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance.
What if Any Passenger Shows COVID-19 Symptoms?
If in case, a passenger shows some symptoms of being affected, then in that scenario, certain guidelines have been rolled out by the authorities. Here are they -
- If a passenger has a high temperature, then they won’t be allowed to travel in spite of having confirmed train tickets. The good news is that in such a case, a full refund would be provided to such a traveller.
- For availing the refund, an online TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt) must be filed by the passenger within a period of 10 days from the date of his journey and he or she will have to send the TTE certificates to IRCTC. After the whole process is completed, the full amount will be refunded into the passenger’s respective bank account.
- To such passengers, TTE (Transthoracic Echocardiography) Certificates would be issued at the entry point itself.
Important Deets to Know About Catering, Bedding and More While Travelling on Trains
Things like food, bedding, blankets form an integral part of train travel. Let’s see what are the guidelines issued regarding them in the time of the pandemic.
- As per the new railway guidelines, no catering charges would be included in the ticket fare and the facility of pre-paid meal booking as well as e-catering will be disabled.
- The passengers are encouraged to take their own meals along with them, however, all the vending units based in the station premises will remain open, allowing the cooked items to be utilized as takeaway only.
- Keeping the current COVID-19 scenario in mind, no linen blankets or curtains are allowed to be distributed within the train.
- And lastly, the passengers are instructed to travel with a bare minimum of things with themselves.
Here is the complete list of trains which will resume their services from June 1, 2020