In order to provide relief to the waitlisted passengers Indian Railways would run special Clone Trains on the routes that have high passenger traffic. The railway board will monitor all the trains that are currently in operation to determine which trains have a long waiting list. Wherever there is a demand for a particular train and waiting list is long, Railways would run a clone train ahead of the actual train for the passengers to travel with ease.
The proposed step will not only ensure availability of on-demand trains but also help the national transporter boost revenues at a time when the passenger segment earnings declined due to the covid-19 outbreak. These clone trains will start in a phased manner in the next 15 days. Here is all you need to know about the Clone Train scheme.
A clone train will be a train which will be running with the same number as the actual train. For example train no. 02424 New Delhi Dibrugarh Covid 19 AC Special gets fully booked and still has a heavy demand of waitlisted passengers. In such cases Indian Railways will add another rake of the Rajdhani Express with the same number just to carry waitlisted ticket-holders.
The clone trains will be primarily 3AC trains and will run ahead of the already operating special trains.
Clone trains will be accommodating only waitlisted passengers.
The waitlisted passengers will be informed about their berths in the clone train soon after the reservation charts for the original scheduled trains are prepared. The preparation of the chart takes place four hours before the scheduled departure time of the train.
The stoppages of the clone trains would be less than the special trains that are functioning currently. The idea is to have stoppages at major stations for clone trains to meet the demands of people.
Indian Railways is already running the 'Vikalp Scheme' where the passengers are given a choice to book the ticket in an alternate train if their waitlisted tickets do not get confirmed on the train they had opted for. One of the major drawbacks of the Vikalp scheme is that the travelling time of the passenger may increase if he/ she is given reservation from a nearby boarding and destination station instead of the original boarding and destination stations.
However, it will be a logistical challenge for the Railways as it will require additional rakes for running the clone train. Indian Railways will try to run these types of trains from major cities initially where there are additional rakes.
Indian railways had suspended all passenger trains services due to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown from March 25. However it resumed services in a regulated manner with shramik special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from May 1. After that railway board started fully air-conditioned rajdhani-like 30 COVID-19 special trains and 200 special trains across the country. Now it will run another 80 new special trains from September 12. Booking in these new 80 trains has already started from today, September 10. These additional trains were announced keeping in mind the covid-19 situation and also to allow reverse migration of workers to urban areas for work with the country entering into Unlock 4.0.
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