In a significant move after 47 days of the nationwide lockdown, the Indian Railways has planned to gradually start the passenger train operation from May 12, the government said on Sunday.

Initially, the services will resume for 15 pairs of trains including 30 return journeys.

“These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi,” Ministry of Railways said in a press note.

“Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as ‘Shramik Special’ for stranded migrants,” it added.

Bookings for the trains will start from May 11 at 4 pm and will be available on the IRCTC website.

However, no bookings could be made from the ticket counters as the Railways has said that ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter  tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued.

It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

Further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course, Ministry added.