New Delhi: The railways began the services of 200 special trains carrying around 1.45 lakh passengers across the country on Monday with almost 60 per cent trains running over the Northern Railway network.
The first such train left Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj station for Varanasi at 12:10 am.
The national transporter plans to run 200 such trains.
The Northern Railway bore 60 per cent of the traffic of these trains with 118 running over its network, including 100 either terminating or originating from the zone, and nine others passing through it.
In the Delhi area, 36 trains terminated or originated from the New Delhi railway station and eight passed through it, while 18 trains terminated or originated from the Nizamuddin station and one passed through it.
Ten trains terminated or originated from the Anand Vihar railway station, four each terminated and originated from the Old Delhi railway station, while two trains each originated and terminated at the Sarai Rohilla station, a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
The Northern Railway is the biggest railway zone with a 6,807-km route. It covers the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and Union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.
The Western Railway ran 34 special trains originating from Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad.
Most of these trains carried around 1,100-1,200 passengers each, officials said.
The national transporter is yet to provide a consolidated information on the total number of passengers it ferried through the special trains and how many trains originated from which railway zone.
Around 26 lakh passengers have booked tickets on these special trains, which have both air-conditioned and non-airconditioned coaches, till 30 June, the railways said.
The passengers have been asked to reach the station 90 minutes before departure for a thermal scanning in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Only those with confirmed or RAC tickets will be allowed inside the stations and to board the trains.
The passengers will be compulsorily screened and only those found to be asymptomatic will be allowed to board the trains.
If a passenger has high fever or shows other symptoms of COVID-19, he will not be allowed to travel and a full refund of his ticket will be provided to him.
In a major relief to passengers, the railways modified the rules for reservation in the special Rajdhani and special mail and express trains on Thursday as it extended the advance reservation period from 30 days to 120 days.