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Passengers near the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express (Photo: PTI)
Passengers near the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express (Photo: PTI)

IRCTC to restart Tejas Express trains from 17 October

  • As a part of the standard operating procedure, passengers will not be allowed to exchange their seats once seated, use of masks will be mandatory for the passengers and staff

NEW DELHI : State-owned Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Ltd (IRCTC) will restart operation of its fleet of Tejas Express trains from 17 October after a hiatus of seven months, it said Wednesday. These trains will operate across — Lucknow-New Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai route — to cater to the growing passenger demand, ahead of the festive season.

The announcement comes a week after railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that Indian Railways plans to run more than 200 trains during the festive season between 15 October and 30 November.

“On getting approval from ministry of railways to again start the operation of the two popular corporate trains, IRCTC is making all round preparations to ensure that the trains once started match the expectation of the people in terms of levels of services and safety and health protocols amidst the ongoing pandemic. Every alternate seat will be kept vacant following the social distancing norms for the initial period," an official statement said.

As a part of the standard operating procedure, passengers will not be allowed to exchange their seats once seated, use of masks will be mandatory for the passengers and staff. All travelers will install the contact tracing app Arogya Setu.

“All the passengers will be provided a Covid-19 protection kit which will contain a bottle of hand sanitizers, one mask, one face shield and one pair of gloves. All the passengers will go through thermal screening and hand sanitization process before entering the coach," it said, adding that luggage and baggage of the passengers will be disinfected by a staff and cleaning and regular disinfection of frequently touched surface inside the coach will also be done.

Operation of Tejas trains were temporarily suspended from 19 March, amid the covid-19 outbreak, less than an year after it was launched as India’s first corporate train. In a first, railway ministry last year alloits tourism and catering subsidiary to run Tejas Express--touted to be a train run by an entity other than the national transporter. It was supposed to be a blueprint before inviting private companies to run high-speed, modern passenger trains across more than 100 routes.

The operation of the first corporate train--Lucknow-Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express--started on 4 October, 2019, while the Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Ahmedabad train hit the rails on 19 January.

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