Indian Railways’ passenger occupancy rises to 80% as COVID-19 case numbers fall

The passenger occupancy of the Indian Railways has risen to nearly 80 percent when compared to that of March, a senior official in the Ministry of Railways told Moneycontrol.

Ticket booking of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp Ltd (IRCTCL) have risen to around 800,000 daily bookings again after having fallen to around 500,000 tickets per day in May, the official said. The Indian Railways sells around 90 percent of its tickets through the IRCTC.

As the lockdown restrictions ease across the country, the Indian Railways has also started increasing its capacity utilisation across the country as it has started resuming almost all trains on many important routes. The Indian Railways is currently running around 1,490 mail and express trains and 947 passenger trains, the official said.

“We have discussed the issues surrounding the operations of trains with state governments and are only restarting operations based on demand. In containment zones, we are doing random tests and checks before starting operations. As we approach the festival season we expect demand for trains to pick up,” the official said.

The railways is also in discussion with state governments to consider the restart of local rail service across the country.

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