The Indian Railways issued an order to discontinue the ‘special’ tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect.
Since the virus-triggered lockdown was eased, the Railways has been running only special trains. It started with long-distance trains and now, even short-distance passenger services are being run as special trains with “slightly higher fares” to “discourage people from avoidable travels”.
In a letter to zonal railways on Friday, the Railway Board said trains will now be operated with their regular numbers and fares will revert to normal pre-Covid prices.
This issues with the concurrence of Passenger Marketing Directorate of Railway Board,the order dated November 12 said.
The order, however, did not specify when the zonal railways are required to revert to their pre-Covid regular services.
The zonal railways have been instructed. While the order is with immediate effect, the process will take a day or two, a senior official said.
“With this more than 1,700 trains will be restored in the next few days. The first digit will now not be zero as was in the case of special trains,” another official said.
The order also did not mention if the concessions which were discontinued in the special trains will be reinstated.C
With the operation of special trains and no concessions, the Railways’ revenue too has seen a substantial growth. The transporter registered an increase of 113 per cent in earnings from the passenger segment during the second quarter of 2021-2022 as compared to the first.