As the Indian Railways resumed its passenger services on Tuesday, two trains chugged out of New Delhi on time carrying 2,299 passengers on board.
One train will depart for Bengaluru at 9.15 pm on Tuesday.
The New Delhi railway station, in the heart of the city, saw the departure of two special trains for Bilaspur and Dibrugarh, around 50 days after the nationwide lockdown caused suspension of all passenger train services.
A total of 1,177 passengers are booked on the New Delhi-Bilaspur special train, which departed at 4 pm, while 1,122 passengers are booked on the New Delhi-Dibrugarh special train that departed at 4:45 pm.
A total of 1,162 passengers are booked on the New Delhi-Bengaluru special train, which will leave at 9:15 pm.
“Total 3,461 passengers to leave New Delhi today,” the railways said.
A total of 741 PNRs were generated for the 1,177 passengers travelling in the New Delhi-Bilaspur special train, while a total 442 PNRs were generated for 1,122 passengers travelling in the New Delhi-Dibrugarh special train.
A total of 804 PNRs were generated for the 1,162 passengers travelling on the New Delhi-Bengaluru special train.
The railways regulated passengers even before the entry to the station. Passengers were asked if they had downloaded the Aarogya Setu app and most of them answered in the affirmative, the officials said.
Passengers who boarded the Bilaspur bound train sanitised their hands at the entry gates, wore masks and carried minimal baggage as advised by the railways.
As they entered the station, the officials guided them to their designated coaches resulting in minimal crowd at platforms.
Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav was also present at the station.
On Tuesday, five other trains bound for New Delhi will leave from Patna, Bengaluru, Howrah, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the railways said.
The Northern Railways said in a statement that entry to the New Delhi railway station will be allowed only from the Paharganj side for all confirmed ticket holders and no entry for passengers will be permitted from the Ajmeri Gate side.
For now, the railways has issued a timetable for trains to be run between May 12 and May 20. These trains will have only AC classes i.e. first, second and third AC.
The fare structure will be as applicable for the Rajdhani trains (excluding catering charges).
On May 13, eight trains will depart from the national capital for Howrah, Rajendra Nagar, Jammu Tawi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Ranchi, Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad. Another train will leave Bhubaneswar for New Delhi.
On May 14, the only train leaving the New Delhi railway station will head to Bhubaneswar, while one train each will leave Dibrugarh, Jammu Tawi, Bilaspur, and Ranchi for the national capital.
On May 15, one train each will leave Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai Central for New Delhi while one bound for Madgaon will depart from New Delhi.
As per the timetable, no train is scheduled on May 16 and May 19.
Passenger services from Madgaon to New Delhi and New Delhi to Secunderabad will resume on May 17.
The only train scheduled on May 18 is from Agartala to New Delhi, while two trains scheduled on May 20 are from New Delhi to Agartala and Secunderabad to New Delhi.
The officials said, as per the guidelines, etickets issued by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will work as an e-pass for the movement of drivers to and from the station to pick or drop passengers.
Bookings will be available only on the IRCTC’s website (www.irctc.co.in) for general quota passengers, while bare minimum reservation counters will be open on the routes of these special train for parliamentarians, freedom fighters and others who can book their tickets there.
Concessions can only be availed by patients, students and people with disabilities while no concessions for senior citizens are applicable.
The railways has also earmarked reservation quota of two berths in 3AC for Divyangjans and two berths in 1AC and four berths in 2AC for sitting and former parliamentarians.
On arrival at the destination, passengers will have to adhere to health protocols prescribed by the destination state/union territory, they said.
Under normal circumstances, the New Delhi railway station is one of the busiest stations in the country. A total of 351 trains arrive/depart from this station daily with a footfall of more than 5.20 lakh passengers each day.