Coronavirus outbreak: Trains on April 15 all booked solid

Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 07:26 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Halfway through Coronavirus lockdown, bookings on sleeper class coaches of Mumbai-bound long-distance trains run into waitlists

Long-distance trains at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Pic/Shadab Khan
Long-distance trains at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Pic/Shadab Khan

Are the crowds heading to Mumbai already? The Indian Railways' train bookings in the sleeper class for Mumbai for the first day after the lockdown, that is April 15, are already running into waitlisted numbers from most destinations.

Tickets from April 15 being made available on IRCTC's app and website indicates that there may not be an extension of the lockdown beyond April 14 midnight.

A test by mid-day showed that the Patna-Bandra Superfast Express of April 15 had only RAC tickets available.

There was a long waitlist for sleeper class coaches of New Delhi-Mumbai Paschim Express, Chandigarh-Mumbai Superfast Express and 3AC coaches of trains like Hazrat Nizamuddin-Bandra and -Panvel trains. The trend for trains coming from the south and east was similar.

Railway officials, however, said it is difficult to say that the bookings have been made during the lockdown without getting each train's details. "There were cancellations, but not everyone cancelled all tickets. Advance bookings for April 15 remained in the system. Some trains emptied out, some didn't. Tickets in premium trains like Rajdhani are available though. All booking patterns are skewed due to the lockdown," a senior official said.

"After the earlier trend of cancellations, the trend has now moved to bookings. Though there is abundant space, the rush seems to have already begun," a travel agent said.

Tickets are being processed for journeys post April 14 on prominent bus operators' sites too with an upward fluctuations of prices.

There has been an obvious spike in flight bookings too, with tickets being booked on most sectors. International cargo charter to China will operate Friday onwards, an airline official added.

Rs 500-cr loss for CR, WR in seven days

The CR and WR have together run into Rs 500-crore loss in seven days amid ticket refunds and no new ticketing. A WR spokesperson said that losses from March 23 to 31 have run up to around R250 crore, with the CR also having similar numbers. The loss is inclusive of both suburban and long-distance services.

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