The Lucknow - Delhi Tejas Express, Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express and the newly launched Kashi Mahakal Express have been cancelled till March 31, 2020.
IRCTC cancels all private trains amidst Coronavirus scare! With the novel Coronavirus infection spreading, several train services across the Indian Railways network are being cancelled! This includes all the three private train services by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have also been cancelled. The Lucknow – Delhi Tejas Express, Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express and the newly launched Kashi Mahakal Express have been cancelled till March 31, 2020. The Kashi Mahakal Express was flagged off last month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Recently, it was reported that the cancellation percentage of train tickets on the Indian Railways network has gone up by 80 per cent in the last few days, due to the impact of the novel Coronavirus infection. According to the national transporter, so far the total tally of cancelled train services all over the Indian Railways network, due to low occupancy, is 155 pairs including a few passenger trains.
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The three private trains that run on Indian Railways network are being operated by the catering and e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, IRCTC. The new Kashi Mahakal Express runs between Indore and Varanasi and en route, the train covers various iconic destinations including three Jyotirlingas – Kashi Vishwanath, Mahakaleshwar, and Omkareshwar. The Kashi Mahakal Express also offers special tour packages for railway passengers who want to see and explore the pilgrim centres en route.
The IRCTC Lucknow – Delhi Tejas Express was launched last year in October, while the IRCTC Ahmedabad – Mumbai Tejas Express was flagged off on January 2020. Both these Tejas Express offers many passenger-friendly facilities such as tea and coffee vending machines, modular bio-toilets, sliding doors, CCTVs, mobile charging points, free travel insurance, personalized LED entertainment-cum-information screens, automatic entry and exit doors, etc.
Private trains by IRCTC is the first step towards allowing private operators to run trains on the Indian Railways network. Under the draft proposal by NITI Aayog, as many as 100 routes have been identified for running private trains.