Mumbai: In the wake of an increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country, the Indian Railways on Thursday cancelled all regular mail, express and passenger services until August 12. However, all special Rajdhani, mail and express trains and essential services trains will continue to operate.
“It has been decided that regular time-table passenger services, including Mail/Express, passenger and suburban services, stand cancelled up to August 12,” reads a notification issued on Thursday by the Railway Board.
“All tickets booked for the regular time-table trains from July 1 to August 12 also will be cancelled and full refund will be generated,” the notification added.
In another notification, the Railway Board said, “It was instructed that all tickets booked for regular time-tabled trains for journey dates July 1 to August 12 may be cancelled and full refunds generated. In order to facilitate refunds, it is instructed that these trains be cancelled in ICMS by Zonal Railways. The special Mail/Express trains shall continue to be operated. Zonal Railways are advised to ensure immediate compliance of the above instructions.”
Operations of Special Rajdhani and Special Mail/Express services began on May 12 and June 1, respectively. As per the Railway Board’s decision, the 230 special trains that are being operated during the lockdown will continue to run.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relation officer, Central Railways, said only regular mail and passengers trains have been canceled until August 12. However, a decision on the operation of suburban services would be communicated later, he said.
“Special mail/express trains and selected suburban trains (for essential staff as identified by State Government) will continue to operate. Moreover further updates about special suburban services will be conveyed in due course of time,” he said.
In a notification issued on May 15, the Railway Board had cancelled all trains scheduled for travel till June 30, and decided to refund the tickets.Trains were cancelled across the country due to the lockdown that began on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus. It was only on May 16 that restricted passenger train services resumed in the country.