Will allow more passenger trains to operate going forward: Piyush Goyal

“I think it is time to take the country towards normalcy,” Goyal said in an interaction with Bharatiya Janata Party's National spokesperson Sambit Patra. “In this direction, we have started Rajdhani trains, and June 1 onwards, we will have 200 tra...

New Delhi: Railway minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the national transporter is set to operate more passenger trains in a step towards normalcy, as the country battles Covid-19.

“I think it is time to take the country towards normalcy,” Goyal said in an interaction with Bharatiya Janata Party's National spokesperson Sambit Patra. “In this direction, we have started Rajdhani trains, and June 1 onwards, we will have 200 trains run across the country,” Goyal said.

“In a few days, we will also allow more trains to operate, all shops at stations will also open,” he added.


Offline booking at ticketing counters at railway stations will also be facilitated in the next two to three days, Goyal said. “We are trying to formulate a protocol to ensure that these stations are not crowded,” he said.

The Indian Railways last week announced a gradual resumption of passenger train services which remained suspended for almost seven week owing to the nationwide lockdown.

‘Shramik’ special trains to transport stranded migrants back home began operating May 1 onwards, while 15 pairs of special Rajdhani trains also resumed operations May 12 onwards.
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Going forward, 200 air-conditioned and non-air conditioned trains are also to run daily June 1 onwards, the booking for which began Thursday morning. "Around four to five lakh people have already booked tickets on these trains," Goyal said.

As of 4 pm Thursday, 101 trains were available on Indian Railways' ticketing arm IRCTC's website, and 2,37,751 tickets had been booked for 5,51,724 passengers, as per a railway ministry spokesperson.

So far, the booking for these passenger trains is only possible online. In the next phase, around 1.7 lakh common service centres, will start booking railway tickets by Friday, Goyal said.

Goyal said that people are now also looking to come back to cities and resume work, as the government pushes to resume economic activity. "Reverse booking on these trains have also begun, and people can now come back to work," Goyal said.
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