80 Special Trains and Clone Trains to Be Operated By Indian Railways: Cheer for Indian Railways Passengers!
Rail News: The booking for the 80 special trains will begin from September 10, the railway ministry said. The Government will deploy ‘clone trains’ on routes wherever there is a demand for a specific train, or the waiting list is long.
The Indian Railways has announced to operate 80 more trains from September 12, for which reservations will start from September 10. These 80 special trains (40 pairs) will be in addition to 230 trains (115 pairs) that are already on track. Addressing a virtual press conference, Indian Railway’s first CEO, VK Yadav, said that, “The railways will monitor the trains. Wherever there is a demand for a specific train, or the waiting list is long, the Railways will run a ‘clone train’ ahead of the actual train.”
What is the “Clone Train” Scheme?
A ‘clone’ train will run as an alternative to an actual train and ferry waitlisted passengers of that train to their destinations. As an example of the Clone Train Scheme, if there is a lot of waiting list in the Sampark Kranti Express coming from Bihar to Delhi, then the railway will run another train of the same number to Delhi, an hour or so after its departure so that the passengers with waiting list tickets of Bihar Sampark Kranti will get a chance to travel.
This train will be of the same train number of Bihar Sampark Kranti and will also reach Delhi from the same platform and same route. In such a situation, people will not have any problem in reaching their destination. The railway has named it as “Clone” Train.
Indian Railways Clone Train Scheme: Important Points You Need to Know
- These trains will be run based on the waiting list on routes having higher demand.
- Passengers on the waiting list shall be notified about their seats on a ‘clone train’ after reservation charts of the actual train is released or around four hours before departure.
- The clone trains’ stoppages will be fewer than the special trains.
- This scheme is the same as the ‘Vikalp’ scheme under which waitlisted passengers are accommodated in another train on the same route, regardless of booking quota and concession.
- However, in the case of ‘Vikalp’ scheme, instead of the original boarding and destination stations, passengers may be allotted nearby boarding and destination stations.
List of 80 New Special Trains to Be Run From September 12
Railway board chairman VK Yadav said that the critical factors in deciding the 80 new trains were the fact that there were many railway stations from where the migrant workers are going back to their workplaces from their hometowns. Railways are also coordinating with the state governments while deciding on the introduction of new special trains, he added.
Check out the Full List of 80 New Special Trains
“Many of these special trains are running in the opposite direction of the Shramik Special trains. So, workers are leaving their homes and going towards their workplaces. The occupancy of these 12 trains is very less among the 115 pair of trains, so we are operating them, but will reduce the number of rakes. We are monitoring the filling of trains and will operate more trains as per demand,” VK Yadav said.
He also said that the Ministry will run more trains whenever there is a demand from states for exams. The railway government had said it will run special trains across states for students appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The National Testing Agency (NTA) is taking the JEE exam from September 1 to September 6, and NEET exam on September 13.
Indian Railways has recently decided to run 20 pairs of special trains from September 2 to 15 for the convenience of the candidates who are appearing for the government exams in Bihar. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced the facility will also be extended to candidates appearing for the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam.
The idea comes in the backdrop of the Unlock 4 plan announced by the Government on August 29. While issuing the guidelines of “Unlock 4″, the Ministry of home affairs (MHA) said the latest plan was reopening of more economic activities outside the containment zones. It was issued after extensive consultations with the central ministries and departments and receiving feedback from states and Union Territories.
“Under the plan of Government, metro services across India, excluding Maharashtra, will resume from September 12 – A move that will increase public transport capacity across India but also one that comes against the backdrop of a rush in cases in the country”, Ministry of housing and urban affairs said.
Indian Railways Has Currently Suspended All Regular Passenger Trains
The Railway ministry has currently suspended all regular passenger trains indefinitely. Regular passengers trains have remained suspended since March 22.
Earlier in June, the Ministry of railways had said passenger trains, including express, suburban and superfast that were previously suspended till June 30, will not running till August 12. Thirty Rajdhani trains connecting Delhi with different places of the country, which started on May 12, and 200 long-distance passenger trains, which began on June 1, will continue to function.
On August 11, the railway ministry had announced that all regular passenger trains will continue to remain suspended, but some more special trains will be run based on the demand.
Occupancy Rate of Special Trains
In July, the overall occupancy rate of the special trains stood at 75%. According to the data of railway ministry, only a fourth of these trains had an occupancy rate of 100%. Yadav said occupancy of the trains has gone up to 80-85% now and about a dozen trains have low occupancy now.
“Our future effort will be to keep monitoring the occupancy of the trains so that whenever we find a surge in demand for a particular train leading to waiting lists, we will run a clone train there to clear the rush,” Yadav said.
Resumed Trains and Train Routes
The resumed services include the Vande Bharat Express from Varanasi to Delhi and a host of trains on main routes connecting Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Assam.
Some of the new special trains include those on the Yesvantpur-Gorakhpur, Delhi-Indore, Puri-Ahmedabad, New Delhi-Bengaluru routes.
Related: FindTrain Between Stations
The weekly Shramik Special train has been rolled out between Muzaffarpur in Gujarat and Valsad in Maharashtra. “We have selected these trains keeping the prevailing demand pattern in mind. Migrant labourers and others have been travelling on these routes,” he said.
He further said that the project of a bullet train had been well progressing and a few tenders and land acquisition process is affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
“Within next 3-6 months, bullet train project completion timeframe can be worked out, when we get the exact status of the land,” he said.
Special Train Travel Guidelines for Passengers
During the corona pandemic, the reservation for these special trains can be made at the ticket booking counter, but there is an increased risk of the corona. In such a situation, you can book a safe online railway ticket from home through IRCTC website or App.
The passengers must follow the travelling rules (Train Guidelines for Passengers) for special trains. The rules are as follows:
- The special trains will not have any unreserved coaches.
- According to the guidelines from the railways, entry at the station can be done only through a confirmed train ticket.
- Passengers have to reach the station about 90 minutes before the time of travel so that the process of thermal screening can be completed quickly.
- All travellers must download the Arogya Setu APP.
- Blankets, sheets, curtains will not be provided by the railways during the journey.
It will be necessary to follow the rules of social distancing while boarding the train and during the trip.
- There will be a thermal screening of all passengers at the railway station, and only those passengers will get an entry in the train who do not show any symptoms of ‘Asymptomatic Coronavirus.’
- In case a passenger is unfit to travel, a full refund will be issued.
- It will be necessary to wear the mask while entering the train and during the journey.
- Only pre-packaged food in trains will be available.
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