New Delhi: The Indian railways will begin operating 200 non- AC special passenger trains per day from June 1 onward, in a step aimed at gradually restoring normal services, the railway ministry said on Tuesday.
The tickets for these special passengers trains can only be booked online on the IRCTC website or on its app. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. The online ticket booking process will commence soon and the schedule will also be put out shortly, the railway ministry said in a statement.
According to officials aware of the development, these passenger trains will be long-distance trains and are likely to connect smaller cities. The move is also aimed at expediting the transport of stranded migrants across states.
The Centre had on May 12 made special air conditioned premium trains operational, initially with 15 pairs of trains. These are running as special trains from New Delhi station connecting Dibrugarh (Assam), Agartala (Tripura), Howrah (West Bengal), Patna (Bihar), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Secunderabad (Telangana), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Madgaon (Goa), Mumbai Central (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Jammu Tawi (Jammu and Kashmir).
To be clear, the national carrier will also continue to run Shramik special trains for migrant workers simultaneously. Union railway minister Piyush Goyal Tuesday said the ministry of railways will run around 400 Shramik trains per day.
“Great relief for the workers, about 200 labourers special trains will be able to run on this day, and later these numbers will be increased on a large scale. Apart from this, Indian Railways will run 200 non-AC trains daily as per the time table from June 1, whose online booking will start soon,” he tweeted.
Goyal also requested the state governments to help the migrant workers register themselves with the nearest mainline station and give the list to the railways so that the railway workers can run special trains.
“Workers are requested to stay in their place, soon Indian Railways will take them to the destination,” he said.
According to the railway ministry, the national carrier has so far ferried more than 21.5 lakh migrants to their home states in 19 days on 1600 Shramik Special trains.