Train services were started in phases as special trains-
(i) 15 pairs of Rajdhani specials were introduced with effect from 12/05/2020.
(ii) 100 pairs of special trains were introduced with effect from 01/06/2020.
(iii) 43 pairs of special trains were started from 12/09/2020.
(iv) 705 Suburban services (Central Railway-355 & Western Railway-350) were started from 15/06/2020.
(v) Additional Special trains, in coordination with the State Governments, were also run as per demand for Ganapati festival, and IIT-JEE/NEET and NDA & Naval Academy examinations conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Important provisions of Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for movement of passengers by trains are as under:-
1. For reserved trains, only reserved tickets are issued and confirmed ticket holder are allowed to enter the Railway Stations.
2. No linen, blankets, curtain is provided.
3. All passengers to reach station at least 90 minutes to two hours in advance.
4. Provision of separate entry and exit gates at Railways Stations to the extent feasible.
5. Provision of Thermal Screening at the Station. Only asymptomatic passengers are permitted to travel.
6. Passengers are advised to wear mask/face cover at Stations and in the train.
7. All passengers are advised to download and use the Aarogya Setu Application.
8. Advised to observe social distancing both at Station and on trains.
9. Advised all passengers on arrival at destination Station to follow the health protocol as prescribed by destination Station/Union Territories.
Whenever such instructions are issued, the same is publicized through different media at Ministry/Zonal/Division/Station levels, etc.
As regards occupancy, the pattern of occupancy of trains on Indian Railways, including that of special trains, varies across different sectors and seasons. The occupancy of special trains operated from 12.05.2020 onwards is not uniform and it varied on different sectors. However, during the period from 12.05.2020 to 31.08.2020, the average occupancy of these Special trains was approximately 82%.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.