The Railways on Tuesday announced it has given approval to run 392 ‘Festival special’ between October 20 and November 30 to cater to the big festive season rush.
The fares for these trains will be according to those applicable for special trains, the railways ministry said. It means that ‘special charges’ will be levied, making the tickets costlier by 10-30 per cent as compared to the fares of Mail/Express trains, depending on the class of travel.
According to current norms, ‘special charges’ are fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes.
“To clear the festive rush, the ministry of railways has approved 196 pairs (392 trains) of “Festival Special” services over Indian Railways to be operated from 20th October 2020 and 30th November 2020. The fare for these Festival Special services shall be that applicable for special trains. Zonal Railways will notify their schedule well in advance,” the ministry said.
To clear the festive rush, Ministry of Railways has approved 196 pairs (392 trains) of “Festival Special” services over Indian Railways to be operated from 20th October 2020 and 30th November 2020.
Zonal Railways will notify their schedule in advance.https://t.co/KaPpD36NtF pic.twitter.com/XlsvHgdGk0
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) October 13, 2020
In the order issued by the ministry, the Railway Board said these festival special trains will be operated at a speed of 55 kmph. The schedule and booking of the trains will be finalised by the railway zones, the order said.
The special trains will be run for destinations such as Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow among others to cater to the growing demand in the ensuing holiday period of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhatt puja, it said.
These trains will run for a period of 40 days only in addition to the special trains that have been deployed by the national carrier. At present a total of 666 mail and express trains are running while all regular trains have been suspended indefinitely in view of the pandemic.
From May 12, Railways started running limited special trains to help stranded people in other states to reach their homes. It started with 15 pairs of premium Rajdhani special trains connecting Delhi with different parts of the country, followed by 100 pairs of long-distance trains on June 1. It also started 80 trains additionally on September 12.
Railway Board Chairman and CEO, VK Yadav had earlier this month said the ministry will also review the status of passenger trains depending on the demand from the state governments and the status of the pandemic.
“We have conducted meetings with the general managers of zones and instructed them to speak with local administration and review the status of coronavirus. They have been asked to give us a report after which we will decide how many trains can be introduced during the holiday season,” said Yadav.
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