After Indian Railways announced to resume its passenger train services in a limited manner on Sunday (May 10), the online reservation system was expected to resume on Monday (May 11); However, the official IRCTC website could not bear the pressure of traffic and crashed.
The Ministry of Railways addressed the problem and tweeted that the inconvenience was regretted. “Data pertaining to special trains is being fed on the IRCTC website. Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted.” The booking of tickets, which was scheduled to start at 4 pm, will now take place from 6 pm onwards, said the ministry.
On Sunday, the Railways Ministry announced to gradually resume the train services from May 12 with 15 pair AC trains equivalent to Rajdhani Express from New Delhi. According to railway officials, these trains in the initial phase will run as special AC trains from New Delhi Station to Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
Indian Railways also announced that tickets can only be booked online via IRCTC website or through the Mobile App from 4 pm on Monday (May 11). The ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets, including platform tickets, will be issued.
Indian Railways said that it will soon start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and an adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains every day as ‘Shramik Special’ for stranded migrants.
Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. All passengers will have to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
The Indian Railways, which has suspended the passenger, mail and express trains from March 25 amid the nationwide Lockdown to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic flagged-off the Shramik Special train from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists.