Indian Railways passengers note! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has decided to cancel all regular time-tabled passenger train services, including Mail/Express trains, till August 12. These are those regular trains, the bookings for which were available up to April 14, 2020. The decision by Indian Railways does not mean that special trains will not continue to run or that regular passenger train services will not resume before August. Indian Railways has recently announced that it will refund the full booking amount to passengers of all train tickets booked up to April 14, 2020, for all regular time-tabled trains.
At present, due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, the national transporter is running 230 IRCTC special trains along with Shramik special trains on the Indian Railways network. More trains may be operated by Indian Railways to meet any demand, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav has said earlier.
In case of train cancellations, Indian Railways refunds the full amount to passengers, however, the advise is that passengers should refrain from going to the IRCTC website to cancel their booking. The refund will be automatically credited to the user’s account once the train is cancelled in our system, IRCTC has said for online train ticket bookings.
In the light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the national transporter had suspended advance reservations for regular trains from 15 April 2020. Since 25 March 2020, when the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic began, all regular train services of the national transporter have been cancelled by Indian Railways. However, to ferry those who are stranded and those who have to undertake urgent train journeys, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways started IRCTC special trains services from 12 May 2020 onwards. Initially, the IRCTC special train services consisted of 30 Rajdhani-style AC trains, including the to-and-fro journeys, but from 1 June 2020, additional 200 IRCTC special trains were introduced including non-AC sleeper train services.
To travel on these IRCTC special trains, tickets can be booked on the IRCTC website (irctc.co.in) or IRCTC mobile application, at reservation counters, post offices, through agents, etc. All the passenger trains that are currently being operated by Indian Railways are fully reserved services with limited waitlisted tickets. To prevent novel coronavirus infection, all those who are commencing train journeys on these special trains must follow certain guidelines like downloading Aarogya Setu application, social distancing, wearing of masks, thermal screening at stations, etc.