#Lockdown: Indian Railways Cancel All Passenger Trains Till May 3rd; But Parcel Trains Will Run
After the announcement by PM Narendra Modi about the extension of the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown till May 3, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways will not resume passenger train services, as per the reports.
Why Would This Happen?
On Tuesday, the Indian Railways extended the suspension of its passenger services till May 3 according to the senior officials.
Apart from that, the national transporter has also suspended all advance reservations for train tickets until further notice.
How Will This Affect?
This directly implies that you cannot book any train ticket from the IRCTC website or agents for the coming months as well.
According to reports, in an official notification, Indian Railways stated that all passenger train services including Mail/Express trains, premium trains, Kolkata Metro, suburban trains and Konkan Railway shall continue to remain canceled till 2400 hours on May 3.
It is noteworthy that all the counters for booking of train tickets, whether reserved or unreserved, will remain closed both on railway stations and outside the station premises.
Before this, the national transporter had canceled all passenger train services till April 14 but continued to take bookings for trains scheduled from April 15.
What About Refund?
As with the latest development of lockdown extending till May 3, no passenger train services will operate till that date and passengers will be given a full refund for their train tickets.
For the IRCTC e-ticket holders will be refunded automatically without the need to cancel their tickets.
While the PRS counter ticket holders have been asked avoid going to railway stations to claim a refund.
Citing this, the Indian Railways has extended the time till which the refund can be claimed so that passengers don’t rush to stations amidst lockdown.
What About The Other Services?
In the meantime, the Indian Railways continues to run its freight trains to ensure the supply of essential goods across the country.
To have a seamless service, the national transporter has introduced 109 parcel train services over 58 routes.
Apart from that, the national transporter is also innovating with its production units and workshops making ventilator prototypes, contactless doctor check-up booths, making masks, sanitizers and PPEs.
Moreover, the Railway Board has also directed all its zones to convert old train coaches into isolation wards for Coronavirus patients.
For this, as many as 20,000 train coaches are planned to be converted into isolation wards, providing over 3 lakh beds for quarantine.
During the first phase, 5,000 coaches have already been converted. These isolation wards have proper facilities for doctors and nurses as well.
With this innovative idea, trains being converted into COVID-19 patient wards, India now has unique “movable hospitals on wheels” which can be moved depending on the need in a particular area.