- The fare applicable for the festival special services will be that of the earlier special trains allowed to run by the ministry
- Zonal Railways will notify their schedule well in advance, the ministry said in a statement
As the festive season of the country approaches in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Railways Tuesday approved Zonal Railways’ proposal for operation of additional 196 pairs (392 trains) of Festival Special trains. The trains will be operated between 20 October to 30 November.
The fare applicable for these services will be that of the earlier special trains allowed to run by the ministry, said Indian Railways. The timing of these trains will be as per regular trains.
Zonal Railways will notify their schedule well in advance, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said in a statement that the decision was taken as Indian Railways is expecting a rush of passengers during the upcoming festive season. These special trains will run for destinations such as Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi and Lucknow among others, to cater to the demand during Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhatt puja, it said.
Till now, the railways has pressed into service more than 300 mail/express trains which are now running regularly across the country.
These new festival special trains, however, will operate only till November 30 and will not have a continued run, officials said.
In an order issued on Tuesday, the Railway Board said these festival special trains will be operated at a speed of 55 kmph.
Here is a full list of the 196 pairs of festival special trains:
Accordingly, ticket booking facility will be available both online (via IRCTC website) and on PRS ticket counters.
Till now, the railways has pressed into service 666 mail/express special trains which are now running regularly across the country. Additionally some suburban services are also being operated in Mumbai as well as certain services of the Kolkata Metro.
The Railways had suspended all passenger trains services due to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown from 25th March. However, it resumed services in a staggered manner, with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from 1st May.
Later, it started 230 special trains across the country, followed by another 80 special trains from September 12.The additional trains were announced keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, and also to allow reverse migration of workers to urban areas for work, with the country entering into Unlock 4.0
The national transporter also recently started operating clone trains under its network. Initially a total of 40 (20 pairs) of trains will operate in the Indian Railways network which has seen a huge passenger traffic demand.
The main feature of the clone trains will be that these trains will have fewer stoppages and will also run at a higher speed than the original train.
Clone trains comes as a boon for the railway passengers and the problem of not getting tickets in the busy routes may be reduced with the introduction of clone trains.
This month, Railway Board also gave approval to zones for 39 additional special trains. These services will be introduced as special services from an early convenient date, said Ministry of Railways.
Most of the trains belong to the category of AC Express, Duronto, Rajdhani and Shatabdi. The date of operation of these additional trains is yet to be declared by the government.