New Delhi: Railway reservation rules are set to change starting today (October 10). Now railway seats will be available even five minutes before the train leaves the station, as the Indian Railways has decided to restore the pre-COVID system of preparing the second reservation chart half an hour before the departure time.
The Indian Railways has decided to restore the pre-COVID system of preparing the second reservation chart 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains from stations. The system had been modified to two hours in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the last few months.
“As per the request of Zonal Railways for ensuring convenience of rail passengers, the matter has been examined and it has been decided that the second reservation chart shall be prepared at least 30 minutes before scheduled or rescheduled time of departure of the train,” the statement said.
“Accordingly, the ticket booking facility — both online and on PRS ticket counters — shall be available, before preparation of the second chart. CRIS will make necessary modifications in the software accordingly so as to restore this provision with effect from October 10,” it said.
It is worth mentioning that passenger train services remained suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, in a bid to restore services, the national transporter has been running special trains.
Booking or cancellation of tickets 5 minutes before departure:
Just like pre-COVID times, the 1st reservation chart will be prepared 4 hours before the departure of the train while the 2nd reservation chart will be prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before departure of the train.
This means, until the second reservation chart is prepared, passengers can book train tickets. Tickets can also be cancelled during this time, as per the provisions of the refund rules.
If a seat, which was booked in the first chart of reservation, become vacant owing to cancellation, can be booked through PRS counters and online till the second chart is prepared.
Railways to run 39 more special trains
The Indian Railways has been running several special trains and ahead of the festive season, Railways is planning to start more special trains across the country. The Railway Board recently gave approval to zones for 39 new special trains. These services will be introduced as special services from an early convenient date, said the Ministry of Railways.
Among the 39 trains approved by the board, most belong to the category of AC Express, Duronto, Rajdhani, and Shatabdi. As per the Ministry, the operations will begin soon but the date of operation of these additional trains is yet to be declared.