Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: In a good news for the passengers planning to travel during the festive seasons, Railway Board Chairman and CEO V.K. Yadav on Thursday said that the national transporter is planning to introduce 200 special trains between October 15 and November 30 to cater to passenger rush.

The railways had suspended all regular passenger, mail, and express trains indefinitely on March 25 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The national transporter then started Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, and students. It then started 15 pairs of special air-conditioned trains from May 12, followed by 100 pairs of trains from June 1 and 80 more pairs from September 1.

The railways also started running 20 pairs of clone trains from September 12.

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"We have conducted meetings with the general managers of zones and instructed them to speak with local administration and review the status of Covid-19. They have been asked to give us a report after which we will decide how many trains can be introduced during the holiday season. Our estimate as of now is that we will run around 200 trains, but it is an estimate, the number could be more," Yadav said during a virtual press conference.

The CEO also said that the railways has decided that it will take stock of passenger services on a daily basis depending on the needs of the state governments and the status of the pandemic.

"As far as passenger trains are concerned, the situation now is that we will analyse the requirements of trains, the traffic patterns and Covid-19 status on a daily basis. Wherever there is a need we will run trains," he said.

Yadav also emphasised that the occupancy of clone trains, which were introduced by the national transporter in routes with high demand, is around 60 per cent.

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"We have started the system of clone trains where every morning we analyse the data on trains through software and our efforts are to ensure that wherever there is long waitlisting, a clone train is run there. We have also decided that wherever the clone train is filled, we will run another clone train on the same route to ensure that there are no passengers waitlisted," he said.