Trains now running at 69% of pre-Covid levels: Railway Board Chairman

He also reiterated that the Railways is ready to meet any additional demand for trains
The Indian Railways is now running trains at 69 per cent of its pre-Covid-19 capacity. This inching up of rail utilisation is on back of rising demand with many passengers going back to their home towns to avoid extended lockdowns because of the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic.

A Rail Ministry presentation said 140 additional trains for destinations having high demand like Gorakhpur, Patna, Darbhanga, Varanasi, Guwahati, Manduadih, Barauni, Prayagraj, Bokaro, Ranchi, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Bhagalpur are being operated.

In all, 7824 trains are running on an average per day. The pre-Covid average was 11283. The maximum restoration is in the running of suburban trains with 5387 operating now compared to 5881 in the per-Covid period. The least restoration is in the passenger trains that are running at just 26 per cent of pre-Covid capacity. Only 947 passenger trains are operating on an average compared to 3634 earlier. These passenger trains mostly serve as a link between major junctions and small stations. They are also usually fully unreserved, allowing passengers to adopt them for daily commute.

Commenting on the movement on trains and Covid-19 protocols, Chairman Railway Board, Suneet Sharma said, “Till now, no state government has asked up to stop trains bound for them. The Railways is conducting thermal screening of passengers and has also notified penalties for enforcing Covid-19 protocols.”

To curtail spread of Covid, Sharma said that the Rail Ministry will not be resuming General coaches (that allow unreserved travel) and will ensure that only passengers with confirmed tickets board. This is being done to maintain some social distancing. Chairman Railway Board also spoke about the Covid coaches and that demand has come from one district in Maharashtra for their deployment.

He also reiterated that the Railways is ready to meet any additional demand for trains.

Commenting on the deployment of special coaches designed to be converted for Covid treatment, Sharma said, “We have kept about 4000 coaches ready. These coaches are located at almost 220 odd locations across the country. So far, we have received a demand from Maharashtra from the Nandurbar district where we have placed 20 coaches already. These coaches are being utilised by the state government for their patients.”

According to Rail Ministry officials, there are 16 berths/beds in each such coach. There has been a demand of 90 such coaches from Nandurbar.

Trains services restored till now

Category of train Average per day
Pre Covid Avg per day
% of trains presently in operation
Mail and Express Special trains
1490 1768
84
Suburban Trains
5387 5881
92
Passenger 947 3634 26
Total
7824 11283 69



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