Hyderabad: Most of the trains which remained confined to the yards for months due to Covid-19 pandemic are now slowly getting back onto tracks with South Central Railway (SCR) restoring express trains in a phased manner across the zone.
For the convenience of passengers, mainly those heading for long journeys, the railways is seeking to restore full-fledged express train services. The SCR has been increasing the number of train services in a graded manner and presenlty, around 80 per cent of express trains are operational from the zone.
According to SCR, a total of 190 express trains used to be operated daily, weekly and bi-weekly before Covid-19. At present, nearly 150 express trains are being run while another 22 trains will be restored from April 1 onwards including Secunderabad-Vijayawada Shatavahana Express and Secunderabad–Visakhapatnam Garibrath Express.
Passengers can travel to long distances like Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Tirupathi, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Howrah as SCR has restored express trains to these destinations.
Major trains which are operational from the twin cities include Hyderabad-New Delhi Telangana Express, Hyderabad-Mumbai Hussain Sagar Express, Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express, Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam Godavari Express, Hyderabad-Chennai Charminar Express, Secunderabad-Tirupathi Narayanadri Express and Lingampally-Kakinada Gautami Express.
SCR officials said that several fully reserved services of special trains were being restored and passengers need to book tickets either through IRCTC portal or at the reservation counters.
“On an average, 2 lakh passengers are travelling from the zone every day including 40,000 from the twin cities. Before Covid-19, around 10 lakh passengers used to travel daily. Once we restore the normal trains and resume unreserved tickets, the footfall will be 100 per cent,” said a senior official.
On the other hand, passenger trains like Kakatiya Passenger, Repalle Passenger and push-pull are yet to be resumed. The zone used to operate 500 passenger train services every day across the zone including 121 MMTS services in Hyderabad.
Wait for MMTS continues
Passengers continue to wait for the resumption of MMTS services in the city. Since 11 months, sub-urban trains were confined to sheds due to the pandemic. The MMTS services used to handle a ridership of around 1.6 lakh passengers every day through 121 services. It serves rail users from around 25 local stations apart from Secunderabad, Kacheguda and Hyderabad.
UTS app to be re-activated
The unreserved ticketing system (UTS), a facility to book unreserved tickets, will be reactivated in zone soon. Already, Indian railways has reactivated this facility in some zones. To avoid any inconvenience to passengers in booking unreserved tickets and ensure physical distance at booking counters while purchasing the tickets, UTS facility will be reintroduced.
Zonal Railways have been instructed that whenever unreserved train services are introduced on any zone, the Zonal Railway concerned should accordingly enable UTS app for issuing unreserved tickets.
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