To maintain social distancing and to avoid overcrowding in local trains, the Railways decided to run additional 753 train services in addition to the existing 2,020 special suburban services from November 2 (Monday). With this, the total number of local services will increase to 2,773.
Senior railway officials said they have decided to add additional 552 suburban services on the Central Railway line to the existing 1,020 service, making it to total 1,572 services. Similarly, additional 201 suburban services on Western Railway line in addition to the existing 1,000 service, taking the total services to 1201.
“Railways will now operate 2,773 suburban services with the addition of 753 suburban services to the existing 2,020 with effect from today (November 2),” he said. However, on November 1, additional 314 and 296 suburban services were increased on Central and Western Railway lines respectively.
This comes after the state government requested the Railways to resume local trains for the general public. However, a decision on the same is yet to be finalised.
“Railways have given inputs as asked by the state government and we are hoping the government will revert soon deciding the modalities for providing services to the commuters in Mumbai Metropolitan Region,” read the letter.
Officials from the Central Railway said the general public will only be allowed to commute in local trains only after the state government gives the green signal. However, their job is just to run the trains.
“We have already informed the state government that if we resume all local services that were running before the lockdown, only around 22 lakh people will be able to be accommodated as per the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government is also planning to develop an app on the lines of the Kolkata Metro. This was discussed at a virtual meeting on Friday, attended by state government officials and representatives of the firm that developed the app for the Kolkata Metro.
This app will help people generate e-passes for travel in local trains well in advance. “The e-passes will help us to regulate the number of commuters and keep it under 22 lakh,” said a railway official.