Finally, linen services are back in the Mumbai CSMT- Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express from Wednesday (March 30) making it the first train of the Central Railway's Mumbai Division in which linen service resumed after the pandemic.
New brand blue colour soft and comfortable blankets with new pillow and white bed sheets were given to the passengers.
Passengers of the train welcomed the resumption of linen service in Mumbai CSMT - Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani express and praised the quality of linen but said if they were informed about the resumption of linen services in this train well in advance, it would be too good.
"I was not aware of the resumption of linen services in this train from today, hence I came with my own bedding, which increased the load of my luggage," said a senior citizen who boarded from Mumbai CSMT adding that it's really a good step.
At the time of the pandemic, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, former Railway Minister Piyush Goyal decided to withdraw the provision of blankets, bed-sheets and linen along with curtains in AC coaches of all Indian Railways trains.
However, arrangements were made by the national transporter so that disposal blankets are provided to train passengers on demand.
Confirming the development, a senior official of CR said, "We resumed linen services in Mumbai CSMT- Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani express from Wednesday, gradually all trains will be covered."
The central railway planning to resume linen service in 18 trains including 12 from the Mumbai division by April 7th April 2022 in the first phase. Passengers of Mumbai- Nagpur Vidarbha express and LTT- Madgaon AC Double Decker Express is likely to get this service from April 3rd, 2022.
Similarly, passengers of LTT-Shalimar, Jnaneswari Super Deluxe Express, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus–Howrah Samarsata Express, Mumbai CST-Firozpur Express, LTT- Puri Express, Lucknow Superfast Express, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus–Pratapgarh Udyognagri Express, LTT- Agra Lashkar Express, and Habibganj Express will be likely to get this service again from April 5th April.
In addition to that, passengers of Mumbai CSMT–Nagpur Sewagram Superfast Express, CSMT-Amravati Superfast Express and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus - KSR Bengaluru Udyan Daily Express will likely get linen service again from 7th April 2022.
Similarly, Western Railways has also decided to resume linen service in the Mumbai Central - New Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai Central- Hazrat Nizamuddin August Kranti Rajdhani Express from April 7th, 2022.
Earlier this month, the Railway Ministry announced that Indian Railway has decided to withdraw the restriction with regard to the supply of linen, bed-sheets, blankets as well as curtains inside the train coaches with immediate effect and the same may be provided to passengers as per applicability during the pre-Covid period but due to non-availability of linen, services was not a started immediately.
"This is because a sizable amount of fresh linen is being procured for railway passengers as a lot of old stock has become unserviceable in the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, "said a senior officer of CR adding that we are trying our best to bring the service back to 100 per cent as it was in pre-covid times.
"It's good to know that Central Railway resumed linen service in Mumbai CSMT- Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express from Wednesday. It's definitely going to help passengers, but if I was informed well in advance, then it would be better" said Ashish Singh (26) who boarded the train from CSMT on Wednesday with his wife Cathrine.
"When I came to know about the resumption of linen services on this train, I was a bit surprised. It is a much-needed service which will reduce the size of luggage of passengers," said Alok Tiwari, (29), a resident of Gwalior, who boarded the train from CSMT on Wednesday.
"I heard that the railway is going to resume linen service shortly, but not aware of the date, hence we were forced to carry blankets and bedsheets, but getting new brand blankets and bed-sheets and pillows is a pleasant surprise for us," said Satish Kumar (54), a resident of Delhi.