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More special trains being planned, states being consulted: Rail Ministry

According to sources, the announcement for new trains will be made in a couple of days and they will be introduced in batches.

Published: 02nd September 2020 01:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2020 01:01 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Railways

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: To ease passenger movement in high-demand areas, the Railways will run more special trains apart from the 230 already plying, for which consent has been sought from state governments, an official said.

According to sources, the announcement for new trains will be made in a couple of days and they will be introduced in batches.

The Railway ministry spokesperson, however, did not reveal how many trains will be added to the network.

Currently, all regular passenger services are suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

Officials at the local level are holding discussions with state authorities, especially in non-NDA-ruled states, to allow the introduction of more special trains.

If they do not agree, routes will be finalised ensuring that these states are not touched on by any new trains, officials said.

States like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Odisha had earlier shown reluctance in letting more trains to run through them.

As of now, the 230 trains have an average occupancy of around 75 per cent officials said, adding that trains from and towards Bihar, those running through Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, have been showing higher occupancy than the others.

"More special trains are being planned.

State governments are being consulted," the railway spokesperson said.

Officials said the Railways has been closely studying the occupancy trends in the 230 trains running currently and the routes on which there is high demand.

More trains will be introduced there, they said.

The last of the Shramik Special trains ran on July 9 and there have not been any more demands from the states for more of them, officials said.

They also said that contrary to the early days of the pandemic when people were leaving cities to go back to their villages, now the demand to return to their workplaces has increased.

The announcement came amid the Unlock-4 plan, which starts from September 1.

Under the latest guidelines, the government has relaxed several restrictions across the country to reopen the economy further amid the pandemic.

It also allowed resumption of metro rail services from September 7 in a "calibrated manner".

The Indian Railways had announced last month that all regular passenger trains, which were earlier suspended till August 12, are to remain suspended "until further notice".


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