New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: If you’re planning a train journey after the lifting of the pan-India lockdown, embrace yourself for a new set of rules and regulations which might be introduced by the Railways soon, in wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Amid reports that the lockdown might be extended amid the sharp jump in number of COVID-19 cases across the country, news agency PTI quoted officials saying that the passenger services will be resumed by the Railways in a phased manner only after a green signal from the government.

Officials added the railways will also have to factor in how the lockdown is eventually opened. If it is selective, then trains will only run in areas where lockdown is lifted, officials said.

According to a Hindustan Times report, here are the major changes that are likely to be introduced post lockdown which will change your rail travel experience altogether.

  • The passengers may be asked to reach the railway stations at least four hours ahead of the scheduled departure of their train. This will be done keeping mind keeping the additional safety protocols, including thermal screening and other methods to screen passengers boarding trains.
  • Only non-AC coaches may be made available to contain the spread of disease as coronanavirus is believed to have greater potential for transmission in air-conditioned environment.
  • Only passengers with reserved tickets may be allowed to enter the platforms. The Railways is likely to stop selling platform tickets to prevent overcrowding at stations.
  • “Once the services are resumed, we are thinking of requesting passengers to wear masks as per the health ministry advisory. We are also thinking of using the Arogya app to check the health and wellness of patients and allow only healthy passengers to board trains,” an official was quoted by PTI as saying.
  • Passengers may be required to inform the Railways of their health status, via Aarogya app, at least 12 hours before their travel. If a traveller is found with symptoms of COVID-19, he will be deboarded and forced to abandon his jourey.
  • Face masks and hand gloves may be provided to every passenger against a small fee.
  • Passengers may have to pass through a special tunnel for disinfection ahead of boarding the train.
  • The side berth in sleeper coaches may be kept vacant and only two passengers may be allowed in a cabin of six berths, in compliance with the social distancing norms.
  • Most trains are likely to operate non-stop between originating and destination stations.   
  • Passengers aged over 60 years may not be allowed to travel as they are more vulnerable to get infected from the virus. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta