On Monday, Indian Railways announced the resumption of general class passenger services. These services were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the covid pandemic, the national transporter had been running fully reserved ‘special trains’ in order to prevent crowding of passengers in trains so as to contain the disease spread. Even the coaches of the general second class, which are mostly used by passengers on short distance journeys and from economically backward sections, were turned into reserved coaches. Indian Railways said that in train services that are already resumed with regular train numbers, accommodation in second class will be earmarked reserved or unreserved as per applicability during the pre-Covid period, according to a PTI report.
Besides, second class accommodation of special trains that are presently running as holiday special train services will also be earmarked and reserved or unreserved as per railway policy. A railway spokesperson was quoted in the report saying that general coaches in regular trains, shall be earmarked as reserved/unreserved as these were prevailing during the pre-covid pandemic period. He further explained by giving an example that if during the pre-pandemic period, a train had four unreserved general seating coaches, but now they are being operated as 2S reserved class, these coaches shall be restored as unreserved coaches with effect from Advance Reservation Period or from no booking date (the date from which no passenger has booked reserved ticket in 2S class).
According to the spokesman, however, if a train during pre-Covid times, had few GSCZ or similar types of coaches running as reserved second sitting class coaches, these coaches will continue as reserved sitting coaches even now in those trains. In holiday special trains or other special train services, general class coaches shall be reserved or unreserved as prevailing during the pre-covid period, the spokesman further added.