New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In an attempt to restore the pre-COVID systems, the Indian Railways has said that seats in trains will be available even five minutes before the departure time of the train from October. The Railways has also decided to prepare the second reservation chart half an hour before the train leaves the station.

The Indian Railways, meanwhile, is restoring the pre-COVID practices in a staggered manner and have also started running special trains. However, the regular train services still remain suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown and restrictions to contain the spread of the deadly pathogen.

Following things will be changing from October 10:

- Just like the pre-COVID times, the second reservation chart will be prepared 30 minutes prior to the departure of trains. The Indian Railways had started preparing second reservation charts two hours before the departure when it started running special passenger trains amid the pandemic.

- A passenger can book his ticket until the second reservation chart is prepared. The second reservation chart will be prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before the departure from October 10, which means a passenger can book his ticket during this time.

- If a seat, which was booked in the first chart of reservation, gets cancelled, can be booked through PRS counters and online till the second chart is prepared. The first chart is prepared at least four hours before the departure.

- Tickets can also be cancelled during this time, as per the provisions of the refund rules.

The timings for the preparation of the reservation charts were changed during the pandemic as initially, tickets were only available online, in an attempt to avoid crowding at the stations and to discourage people from travelling unless absolutely necessary.

With the festive season coming, the Railways has already announced 39 pairs of new special trains. It has not yet announced a date for these special trains but they will be operational between October 15 and November 30.

Posted By: Talib Khan