Mumbai: Amid 50 days of lockdown, the Western Railway (WR) sent its first fully-air conditioned special train carrying 1,107 passengers from Mumbai Central for New Delhi at 5.30pm on Tuesday.
The Mumbai-Delhi special train was one of the 15 pairs of special trains selected to assist peoples’ limited and urgent movement from various major places of the country.
This comes after the Indian Railways had announced the timings of 15 pairs of special trains (thirty trains) which started running from May 12. These special trains presently will have only air-conditioned classes i.e. First, Second & Third AC.
Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR, said that Mumbai Central - NDLS was occupied by 1487 passengers, including 1107 from Mumbai Central, 97 from Surat, 83 from Vadodara, 23 from Ratlam and 177 from Kota stations.
“All necessary precautions were taken before passengers were allowed to board the train. We had conducted thermal screening of every passenger and only asymptomatic passengers were allowed to board the train,” he said.
Government Railway police and Railway Protection Force had kept tight security at Mumbai Central station to avoid any law and order issue, and the passengers were allowed to board the train in two queues while maintaining social distance.
“We had advised the passengers to carry only light baggage and to wear face masks during their entire journey, besides bringing their own linen,” Bhakar added. Railway authorities had advised the passengers to reach at least 90 min to 2 hours early to the station due to screening. But it was learnt some passengers had reached Mumbai Central station since 9 am.
“We came in first but they made us wait inside and let those coming later go first. We were waiting for nearly two hours and there was no water or even toilet facilities inside,” said Sanjay Sonputre, who was on his way to Surat.