Working closely with Maharashtra to start trains for all: Railways

Updated: 29 October, 2020 07:16 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Proposes a staggered manner for reopening; suggests six time slots and hourly ladies special trains

Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pic/Nimesh Dave

The state government, for the first time on Wednesday, wrote to the General Managers of CR and WR and the Commissioner of Railway police, saying it was looking to open up local train services for all.

In a letter written by Kishor Raje Nimbalkar, secretary, Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation, the government has said that this can be done in a staggered manner and has proposed time slots.

It requested the railways to give inputs and said the suggested slots would require increasing the frequency of local trains to meet the demand of proposed commuters.

Crowd at a ticket counter at Ghatkopar station last week. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Crowd at a ticket counter at Ghatkopar station last week. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Overall, the state government has proposed six slots, including running hourly ladies’ special trains. For the general public, the letter says that they may be allowed from the time of the first local train to 7.30 am, then from 11 am to 4.30 pm and in the evening from 8 pm to the last local train, keeping the peak rush hour timings for essential staff with QR codes.

A joint statement by both the railways late in the night said that currently, the railways were running 1,410 special suburban services. As a part of the unanimously decided SOP, a maximum of 700 passengers can be seated in a 12-car train with social distancing norms, as against 1,200 passengers. Therefore, 1410 services have a total carrying capacity of approx. 9,80,000 passengers.

"Railways has always been ready to augment/enhance suburban services keeping social distancing norms in mind. We are working closely with the Maharashtra government to provide additional services after consultation with them about necessary modalities," the railways spokesperson said.

The railways’ proposed slots

. Any person with a valid ticket or pass: From the first local in the morning to 7.30 am

. Essential service staff with a valid QR code/ID along with ticket/pass: 8 am to 10. 30 am

. Any person with a valid ticket or pass: From 11 am to 4.30 pm

. Essential service staff with a valid QR code/ID along with ticket/pass: 5 pm to 7.30 pm

. Any person with a valid ticket or pass: From 8 pm to the last local

. Ladies special trains: One train every hour

Rly wants to start ticket app

With crowds at ticket windows at all stations having increased after women were allowed on local trains, the suburban railway authorities have sought permission from the railway board to start the mobile ticketing app and ticket vending machines. If restarted, both modes of ticketing will be able to bear about 30 per cent of the load.

Requesting anonymity, a senior official said, "We did not resume the app as it can be misused in the current situation. Now that all women have been allowed to travel without any restrictions, there is scope to restart the app and ticket vending machines."

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No. of time slots for general public

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First Published: 29 October, 2020 07:03 IST

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