Indian Railways set to operate more passenger trains, consultations with states on

Trains, however, will be introduced in a staggered manner, as consultations with State governments are still on. The Indian Railways had halted passenger train operations in March this year as India went under a stringent lockdown amid the outbre...

NEW DELHI: The railway ministry is planning to operate more passenger trains as India enters Unlock 4.0, a senior official has confirmed.

Trains, however, will be introduced in a staggered manner, as consultations with State governments are still on.

The Indian Railways had halted passenger train operations in March this year as India went under a stringent lockdown amid the outbreak of Covid-19.


“More special trains are being planned..State Governments are being consulted,” an official spokesperson of the railway ministry said on Tuesday.

As restrictions were eased in phases, 30 Rajdhani trains were put into service in May and 200 trains started operations on June 1. The ministry also began operating shramik special trains for transporting stranded migrants back to their home states, May 1 onwards. Over 4,000 such trains have been operated by the National transporter.

Scheduled passenger train services, however, are likely to remain suspended.
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“Once we get green signals and clearance from the Home ministry, we will decide how many trains are to be introduced, but more trains are certainly on the anvil,” a senior railway ministry official told ET. “All trains may not start at once,” the official added.

A final decision is likely in a day or two, the official said. The number of trains will be decided upon depending on the conditions put forth by State governments.

The Indian Railways operates around 13,500 passenger trains every day, and operations came to a screeching halt in may citing high risk of spreading the coronavirus. Freight trains, however, continued to operate.

A further resumption of passenger train services comes as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is also set to resume its services. The gradual opening up of the economy continues, as the government tries to revive economic activity, hit severely by the lockdown.
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Covid-19 cases in the country, however, continue to rise simultaneously, with the country recording close to 37 lakh cases so far.
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