Providing a much-needed relief to the commuters, the Railways has decided to discontinue special trains and revert to the pre-Covid regular services.
To normalize passenger services & revert back in a phased manner to the pre-covid levels of service, the Railways Passenger Reservation System (PRS) will be shut down for 6 hours during the lean business hours of the night for the next 7 days, Railways Ministry informed on Sunday.
The activity will be performed starting from the intervening night of November 14 & 15 to the night of 20 & 21 starting at 23:30 hours and ending at 05:30 hours, Railways added in a statement.
During these 6 hours (from 23:30 to 05:30 hrs ) period, no PRS Services (ticket reservation, current booking, cancellation, enquiry services etc) will be available. Except for the PRS services, all other enquiry services will continue uninterrupted, it said.
Trains to run with usual names, numbers and fares
With the decision coming into effect, trains will run with their usual names, numbers and fares.
According to a circular issued by the Railway Board on Friday, trains will be operated with regular numbers and with fares as applicable for the concerned classes of travel and type of train.
The decision would likely bring down the current fares by up to 30 per cent.
Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Railways was operating about 1,700 trains as mail or express trains, which were halted during the lockdown.
However, during the unlock process, the Railways initiated services of several trains and tagged them as special. And thus the fares were also hiked by upto 30 per cent.
As it takes two-three days for CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) to make the necessary changes in the software, so the implementation of the new decision is likely to take place after the upgradation process gets completed.
The Railways has also made it clear that it will neither charge any extra charge nor would give any refund on the already booked tickets.