Indian Railways will run Shramik Special trains as long as there is demand, says Chairman Railway Board

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 23, 2020

File photo   -  PTI

Indian Railways will run Shramik Special trains — the non-AC, point-to-point trains to move migrants for which entire trains are booked by State governments — as long as there is demand for such trains, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said.

Ministry of Railways has decided to operationalise 2,600 more Shramik Special trains in next ten days across India as per the needs of various State governments. This initiative is expected to benefit 36 lakh stranded passengers across the country.

He reiterated that Railways bears 85 per cent of cost of running the Shramik special trains. Indian Railways has run 2,600 of these trains since May 1.

Enforcing social distancing norms

Responding to a query on extent of losses (post lockdown) till now, Yadav said trains are running freight at 70 per cent loading, while Railways will try to restore passenger services. He added that railways is not at all trying to "earn" through waitlist now. Limited waitlists are there to accomodate people against cancellations.

In passenger segment, the Railways has not seen in the 200 trains that are supposed to run from June 1. “We have announced 200 trains based on (demand) patterns, which will start from June 1. Overall, 30 per cent of the total capacity are booked, but some trains are seeing over 90 per cent and waitlisted trains,” added Yadav.

Responding to a question on how Railways is meeting social distancing norms, the Chairman added that the Railways was not running unreserved trains.

Additionally, Yadav added that almost half of 5,000 railway coaches (which were prepared to be serve as isolation wards) are now being run as special trains.

Apart from Shramik Special trains, Railways has started 15 pairs of Special Trains (all AC trains) with effect from May 12, 2020.

Special trains during lockdown

Indian Railways started running “Shramik Special” trains from May 1, 2020, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to nationwide lockdown.

These special trains are being run from point-to-point on the request of both the concerned State governments as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons.

The Railways and State Governments have appointed senior officials as Nodal Officers for coordination and smooth operation of the Shramik Specials.

Published on May 23, 2020

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