Indian railways has clarified that there is no change in the rules related to train ticket booking of children under 5 year of age. The national transporter refuted the claims made by some media reports that passengers will now have to pay for traveling with children between one to five years of age in Indian Railways trains. Terming these reports as ‘misleading’, Indian Railways, in a press release, said, “It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children travelling in the train. On the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5 year old child if they want. And if they don’t want a separate berth, then it is free, same like it used to be earlier.”
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According to an Indian Railways Circular which was released on 6th of March 2020, children under five years of age can travel for free with their parents/guardians but they will not be allotted a separate seat/berth. “Therefore purchase of any ticket is not required provided a separate berth is not claimed,” Indian Railways press note stated. It added that “if berth/seat shall be sought on a voluntary basis for children of age below 5 years then full adult fare shall be charged.” Some media reports claimed that passengers will now have to pay full amount for kids below 5 years which was termed by PIB India as misleading.
In May this year, Indian Railways launched “Baby Berths” attached with the lower berths in Lucknow Mail train. These berths can be folded and secured with a stopper when not in use. The small Baby Berth was aligned with the main lower seat. These Baby Berths are 770 mm long, 255 mm wide and 76.2 mm high. They were fitted with seat number 12 and 60 main berths of the second cabins on both the ends of coaches on the Lucknow Mail train. It was a trial conducted by the Indian Railways and its outcome has not been revealed yet.