Occupancy in the trains, demand from and the status of the spread of coronavirus across the country will be key determinants for running more trains in the future. The national transport is monitoring the situation closely and will soon run some more special trains, railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said on Friday.
He said that there are ticket bookings from small towns to urban areas, an indication that economic activity is picking up.
“For some trains on reverse directions—from UP, Bihar to Mumbai, West Bengal to Mumbai, occupancy is increasing day by day. This is an indicator of picking up of economic activity. We are monitoring the occupancy of these trains. We are talking to states govt. We are keeping close watch on the covid spread,” Yadav told reporters in a press briefing.
“Keeping all these things in view–requirement of trains, occupancy, status of covid-19 spread…we are in process of finalizing list of trains. In the coming weeks, or 10 days we will be finalizing more trains, depending on these requirements,” he said.
Indian railways had suspended all passenger trains due to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown. However, it resumed services in a staggered manner, with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from May 1. After a few day it also started 30 Rajdhani type special trains and 200 mail express trains. All other passenger and mail express trains remains cancelled till August 12.
Yadav also said that trains may not run as per pre-covid days, considering the rising number of coronovirus cases. “Right now we will increase special trains. As far as running trains on full strength (is concerned), it will take time and will depend on what is the status of covid-19 spread,” he said, adding that passengers will be informed about train services in advance.