Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to extend the nationwide lockdown amid COVID-19 threat, the Railways has suspended all its passenger train services till May 3. However, Railways said to ensure essential supplies in various parts of the country, movement of goods and parcel trains would remain operational.
“In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown, it has been decided that all passenger train services on Indian Railways, including premium trains, mail/express trains, passenger trains, suburban trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway shall continue to remain cancelled till 2400 hours of May 3,” a statement from the Railways said.
Around 15,523 trains run by the railways will be affected including 9,000 passenger trains and 3,000 mail express services which are run daily.
Here is what the Railways has said regarding refund and booking of tickets:
#1. Full refund of fare will automatically be provided to online customers for trains cancelled up to May 3, while those who have booked at the counters can claim the refund till July 31.
#2. Customers will also get full refunds of their tickets if they cancel their advance bookings for trains not yet cancelled.
#3. All counters for booking of tickets for reserved/unreserved travel at stations and outside station premises will remain closed till May 3 midnight.
#4. No advance reservation of trains tickets, including e-tickets, will be allowed till further orders. However, facility of online cancellation will remain functional.
#5. Railways will not charge any demurrage, wharfage, stacking, stabling, detention and ground usage charges till May 3 for those using its freight services. Treating the period till May 3 as force majeure — unforeseeable circumstances — the railways has waived off the charges.
Demurrage charges are levied for the detention of any rolling stock after the expiry of free time, if any, allowed for such detention. Wharfage is the charge levied on goods for not removing them from the railway after the expiry of the free time for such removal.