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Railways to run 80 new trains from September 12

New Delhi: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Indian Railways announced 80 more new trains countrywide from the wee hours on September 12, along with existing 230 special trains, CEO of Railway Board V K Yadav said while announcing on Saturday. He said the trains will be notified later in the day.

"Eighty new special trains or 40 pair of trains will start operations from September 12. Reservations will begin from September 10. This will run in addition to the 230 trains already in operation," he said.

Yadav said the Railways will be monitoring all the trains that are currently in operation to determine which trains have a long waiting list.

"Wherever there is a demand for a particular train, wherever the waiting list is long, we will run a clone train ahead of the actual train, so that passengers can travel," the Railway board chairman said.

He added that the reservation is going to open on September 10 and these trains will also be operated whenever there is a demand from states for examinations or similar purposes. The decision has been taken based on the fact that there were many stations from where migrant workers are going back to their workplaces from their hometowns. The ministry is also coordinating with the state governments on this matter.

The decision has been taken following the Unlock 4 guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which said the latest plan was aimed at reopening more economic activities outside containment zones and that it was issued after receiving feedback from states and Union Territories, and extensive consultations with the Central ministries and departments.

Following an old decision, the Rail ministry is also going to start running 'clone trains' on routes where the occupancy is more depending on the waitlist. "We want to suspend the waiting list system. Also, we have observed that on the high-demand routes, people travel without confirmed tickets. Hence, we have decided to provide a similar train to disperse the pressure with better service," the CEO added.

The 'clone trains' will run in advance of the actual trains and the deployment of the same will only depend on wherever the waiting list is long, especially more than a fortnight.

The stoppages of the clone trains will be less than the special trains.

The government has also decided to reduce coaches of less occupied Shramik Special trains. According to the data, there are 12 such trains, which are running with less occupancy among 230, the CRB mentioned.

However, the ministry has clarified that the regular passenger train services will be suspended until the situation gets normalised. Further, the new timetable will also not be announced.

Yadav also mentioned that the July data highlights the overall occupancy of special trains at 75 per cent. Only a fourth of these trains had an occupancy rate of 100 per cent. But the occupancy of the trains has gone up to 80-85 per cent and about a dozen trains are low occupancy now.

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