The special trains to be operated between 15 state capitals as part of the Centre's efforts to improve nationwide lockdown will have no tickets. The tickets for which the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will soon start bookings are likely to be paperless due to the reduced chances of paper contamination with coronavirus.
No wait-listed tickets for these trains will be released; the fares will be priced at the rates of Rajdhani Express. There will be no higher pricing, even if the demand is higher, because there will be no tatkal and premium tatkal seats, and no allowance will be made for the current booking.
The tickets verified, which are paperless tickets, can be used as an e-pass for people travelling shorter distances to enter railway stations, an official said.
It is not clear whether people need to register to reach different states, as was the case with migrant workers travelling on non-AC trains. The official word is awaited on those apps.
Passengers will be screened for temperature, and will possibly also be screened via the Aarogya Setu app.
As travelling with asymptomatic passengers in a centralized AC setting is a possibility, only those with a clear travel need are allowed to book the tickets. The trains are likely to have tier AC-1, AC-2 and 3-tier AC coaches, carrying fewer passengers than full coaches.
Bookings will be made via IRCTC site or Mobile Application-
Tickets for any of these AC trains are only booked online on the IRCTC website or via its mobile app. It is also not allowed to book tickets by 'bots,' both via IRCTC and Railway. Travel agents, however, can use a private account to book a ticket for someone unable to book a ticket, though regulations do not permit this.
Indian Railways plans to slowly restart operations of passenger trains from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). Such trains will be operated as special trains connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi from New Delhi stations. Such trains are likely to stop at select stations, an official said.
Special help for migrant workers
In the meantime, the Indian Railways announced that they had already operated over 460 special Shramik trains, for which States are expected to book a whole set of coaches. These are the non-AC trains, and States are expected to pay 1,200 tickets for the fare.
Also read: 15 passenger trains to start next week?