New Delhi: In a big relief for millions of passengers, the Indian Railways has decided to run 40 pairs of new special trains or ‘clone’ trains from September 22 for which the reservations will begin from September 10. The Railways will also monitor all the trains currently in operation to determine which ones have long waiting lists.
This will be the first time that the Indian Railways’ will run 40 ‘clone’ or duplicate trains on high-demand routes from September 21. The advance reservation period for such trains will be 10 days.
Such trains will be in addition to the 310 special trains which are already in operation. These trains will be run one or two hours ahead of the departure of already operating special trains. However, the travel time and the stoppages will be limited to operational halts, the Indian Railways said on Tuesday.
Running duplicate trains will not only ensure the availability of on-demand trains for passengers but will also help the national transporter boost revenue at a time when the passenger segment earning taken a beating due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Considering the huge demand for travel on specific routes, the Ministry of Railways has decided to run 20 pairs of Clone Special trains from 21.09.2020. These clone trains will run on notified timings and will be fully reserved trains. The stoppages shall be limited to operational halts,” the railway ministry said in a statement. “We have been monitoring occupancy of all trains. Where we feel that the occupancy has increased and more waitlist is for over 10 days, for those trains, we will run clone or duplicate trains. These trains will run ahead of existing trains, so that for the particular train, the waitlist is not there,” Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav had said on September 5.
The Railways on Tuesday said that it will run 20 pairs of clone trains from September 21, most of them to and from Bihar.
While the tickets for 19 pairs of these trains will be charged at the Humsafar Express rates, it will be at par with the Janshatabdi Express rates for the clone train between Lucknow and Delhi.
The advance reservation period for these trains will be 10 days and the booking will open at 8 am on September 19, the Railways said.
In a media briefing recently, the Railway Board chairman had said the national transporter will operate clone trains on the routes that have a long waiting list, so that the passengers with such tickets can travel.
These clone trains will run ahead of the actual trains so that passengers have no problem in travelling. The Railways said that these trains will operate on notified timings and will be fully reserved services.
While the 19 pairs of Humsafar Express trains will be of 18 coaches, the Lucknow-Delhi train will have 22 coaches. According to the list of trains being run by the Railways, 10 trains will operate between Bihar and Delhi under the East Central Railways.
These trains will originate and terminate in Bihar’s Saharsa, Rajendra Nagar, Rajgir, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. The two trains operating under the Northeast Frontier Railway are also from Bihar: Katihar to Delhi and back.
The Northern Railway will also run 10 trains which will operate between Delhi and Bihar and back, West Bengal to Delhi, Punjab to West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh to Delhi among others. The South-Central Railway will operate two trains between Danapur (Bihar) to Secunderabad and back. The South Western Railway will operate 6 trains (3 pairs) between Goa and Delhi, Karnataka-Bihar and Karnataka-Delhi.
The Western Railway will run 10 trains between Bihar (Darbhanga)-Gujarat(Ahmedabad), Delhi-Gujarat, Bihar (Chhapra) to Gujarat (Surat), Mumbai-Punjab, Gujarat(Ahmedabad)-Bihar (Patna). These trains will run in addition to the 310 special trains already in service and their stoppages will be limited to operational halt or the Divisional Headquarters en-route.
The suggestions of state governments may also be kept while restricting the halts, the national transporter said.