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The Indian Railways on Friday issued an order to discontinue the 'special' tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect.

“Ministry of Railways have decided that all the regular time tabled trains which are presently operating as MSPC (mail/express special) & HSP (holiday special) train services, included in the working time table,2021, shallbe operated with regular numbers and with fare and categorisationas applicable," the Railway Board said in a letter to the principal chief commercial managers.

The board said second class of such trains shall continue to run as reserved except any relaxation permitted in special case. “On already booked tickets in advance, no difference of fare either to be collected by Railways or any refund due to already booked passengers shall be permitted," the board said.

Ever since the Covid 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. 

In the letter to zonal railways, the Railway on Friday said trains will now be operated with their regular numbers and fares will revert to normal pre-Covid prices. 

Ticket prices of special trains and holiday special trains are marginally higher.

"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 told PTI.

"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.

 With the operation of special trains and no concessions, the Railways' revenue has seen a substantial growth. It registered an increase of 113% in earnings from the passenger segment during the second quarter of 2021-2022 as compared to the first.

With agency inputs 

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