Alok Kansal - General Manager of Western Railway interacted with the representatives of print & electronic media of Mumbai Division through a virtual press conference recently and addressed on various issues related to running of additional trains for the convenience of long-distance train passengers, compliance of COVID – 19 protocols at stations & trains, security measures for crowd management, COVID vaccination drive for the railway employees, etc. GM Alok Kansal at the outset informed that, presently Western Railway is running 266 long distance trains which were run in the pre COVID period. This is almost 90% of the 310 trains which were being run in the pre COVID period. Further, to cope with the increase in passengers due to the festive season, 30 pairs of festival special trains were introduced in Jan 2021 upto March 2021, which have now been extended upto June 2021.
With the onset of summer rush, several more trains will be soon run for the convenience of passengers. Kansal informed that 14 pairs of summer special trains have been identified for various destinations, especially for Patna, Gorakhpur, Bhagalpur, Ghazipur, Guwahati and will be introduced in the next few days.
Similarly, the waiting list of trains is monitored daily and additional coaches are attached to existing trains with substantial Waitlisted passengers to clear the rush. In the month of March alone, WR temporarily augmented more than 575 coaches in 42 trains to clear the extra rush. Further speaking on the occasion, GM Kansal appealed the passengers to avoid crowding at railway station premises. He clarified once again that only confirmed passengers will be allowed to enter the station premises and no other persons will be permitted to enter the station premises.
The platform tickets are also not being issued following the COVID protocols. At some stations, it has been noticed that long distance train passengers are gathering at stations in advance to avoid the curfew timings imposed by the Municipal / State authorities. W.Rly is requesting the concerned authorities to permit passengers with valid & confirmed tickets to travel during the curfew timings to avoid overcrowding at station.