The Indian Railways has issued an order to discontinue the special tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect. In a letter to zonal railways yesterday, Railway Board said trains will now be operated with their regular numbers and fares will revert to pre-pandemic prices.
Railways has been running only special trains since the lockdown was eased. Long-distance trains and even short-distance passenger services are being run as special trains with slightly higher fares to discourage people from avoidable travels.
Over 1700 trains will be restored in the next few days. Officials have also stated that temporary restrictions on things like bed rolls, meal services and concessions would continue to exist.
The order, however, did not specify when the zonal railways are required to revert to their pre-Covid regular services.
“The zonal railways have been instructed. While the order is with immediate effect, the process will take a day or two,” a senior official said.
“With this more than 1,700 trains will be restored in the next few days. The first digit will now not be zero as was in the case of special trains,” another official said.
For tickets that have already been booked in advance, no difference of fare will be collected by the Railways or be refunded.
(With agency inputs)