Railways resumes general class passenger services

Passengers wait in a queue for their Covid-19 test, at a platform of Dadar railway station in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The railways on Monday announced the resumption of general class passenger services which were suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

The railways had been running fully reserved special trains' during the pandemic to prevent crowding in trains so as to contain the spread of the disease. Even the general second class coaches, mostly used by people on short distances and from economically backward sections, were made reserved coaches.

"In trains already restored with regular train numbers, second class accommodation shall be earmarked reserved or unreserved as per applicability during pre-pandemic period," it said in a circular.

Apart from this, second class accommodation of special trains currently running as holiday special trains will also be earmarked and reserved or unreserved as per policy, it added.

In regular trains, general coaches shall be earmarked as reserved or unreserved as these were prevailing during pre-pandemic period, a railway spokesperson said.

Explaining further, he said for example, if a train had four unreserved general seating coaches during pre-pandemic period, but are now being operated as 2S reserved class, these shall be restored as unreserved coaches with effect from Advance Reservation Period (120 days hence) or no booking date (date from which no passenger has booked reserved ticket in 2S class).

"However, if a train had few GSCZ or similar type of coaches running as reserved second sitting coaches (2S class) in pre-Covid times, these shall continue as reserved sitting coaches in those trains even now," the spokesman added.

In holiday specials or other special trains, general coaches shall be reserved or unreserved as prevailing during pre-pandemic period, he said.

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