Kochi: The Railways is set to withdraw in a phased manner the mandatory reservation facility in the general compartments of mail and express trains, a system which was implemented in the heydays of the COVID-19 attack.
Travellers need not reserve seats in the second class compartments in 23 special trains. The trains are
06336, Kollam-Nilambur Road
06325, Nilambur Road – Kottayam
06304, Thiruvananthapuram - Ernakulam
06303, Ernakulam - Thiruvananthapuram
06302, Thiruvananthapuram - Shoranur
06301, Shoranur - Thiruvananthapuram
02628, Thiruvananthapuram - Tiruchirappalli Superfast
06850, Rameswaram - Tiruchirappalli
06849, Tiruchirappalli - Rameswaram
06305, Ernakulam - Kannur
06089, Dr. MGR Chennai Central - Jolarpettai
06090, Jolarpettai - Dr. MGR Chennai Central
06844, Palakkad Town – Tiruchirappalli
06843, Thirucharappalli - Palakkad Town
06607, Kannur - Coimbatore
Even now, the reservation norm is applicable to second class general coaches. As per the new directive, the respective Railway Zones can take a decision on the number of coaches which can be dereserved.
The Western Railway has recently allotted de-reserved general coaches in 10 trains. The Railway Board issued the necessary orders for the relaxation after there was a hue and cry over increasing the number of dereserved general coaches.
The relaxation would be also made applicable to trains running services within Kerala and those going to Tamil Nadu, all coming under the ambit of the Southern Railways. But in the long-distance trains bound for other states, the reservation facility would continue to work.
New rule from November
The authorities have indicated that the new rule would come into effect by the first week of November.
There has been a consistent demand for a long time for ending the reservation system in the general compartments of popular trains plying inside Kerala such as Parasuram Express, Ernakulam-Kannur Intercity, Eranad Express and Kannur Executive.
The passengers are currently fed up with the difficulties faced while reserving tickets and with the many restrictions imposed by the IRCTC website.
Many Parliament members and various railway passengers' organisations are now putting pressure on the Railways to run more passenger train services and reschedule the train timings to the advantage of passengers.