The Railways is slated to run 15 pairs (30 return journeys) of air-conditioned "special trains", modelled on the Rajdhani which connects 15 major cities with New Delhi. All the coaches will be AC and there will be limited stoppage only.
As the government has already run the Shramik special trains to ferry migrant workers to their native places, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday issued a Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) that mentions strict adherence to health, hygiene and social distancing.
The special train will start from Bhubaneswar Railway Station from Platform 1 Master Canteen side.
Passengers should wear face cover and undergo screening at departure. There won't be any higher pricing, even if there is higher demand, as there will be no tatkal and premium tatkal tickets, and there won't be provision for current booking.
Booking for reservation in these trains will start from 4 pm on May 11 (Monday).
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The Railways also asked passengers to carry less luggage as attendants/porter facilities may not be available. The booking of tickets through agents (both IRCTC agents and railway agents) will not be permitted.
Sumit Kashyap, who tried booking tickets but failed, tweeted, "Saw media reports last night that trains would start from 12th". The capacity of the trains should be equal to the number of sleeper berths, said the ministry in its revised guidelines. "How to book tickets then?"
The services will resume with 15 "special" trains, all originating from the New Delhi Railway Station. Therefore, tickets can be booked only through the official website of IRCTC.
- Only those passengers with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station.
The Railways has reserved 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centers and is also running Sharmik special trains to send migrant laborers home.