Migrant trains from cities ran full in April, demand expected to remain high

Data for these 677 special trains—all with reserved category seats—shows that most of them ran at 100 per cent occupancy from cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Surat and Delhi and terminated in Darbhanga, Danapur, Gorakhpur and east Indian areas.

Over the last month, as the second wave of the pandemic swelled, over 600 “summer special” trains out of large cities like Mumbai and Delhi ran at nearly 100 per cent capacity as they took migrants back home.

The trend and the corresponding demand projection continues, officials said, as these summer specials out of large cities, especially in Maharashtra, are still running with 100 per cent occupancy.

Data for these 677 special trains—all with reserved category seats—shows that most of them ran at 100 per cent occupancy from cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Surat and Delhi and terminated in Darbhanga, Danapur, Gorakhpur and east Indian areas.

“Several are citing death cases at home while lockdown in many places have made it a necessity for many to take the trains and go,” a senior Railway official told The Indian Express. “The idea is to keep running trains as per demand so that there are always options for those who have to travel,” he said.

Trains from such areas as Mumbai, Udhna, Surat, for Barauni, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Mau and others, ran with around 300 on the waiting list in Sleeper and Second Seating classes over the past few days.

Trains from Maharashtra to Ghazipur, Chhapra, Manduadih (Varanasi), Kanpur etc are running with waiting lists in the same classes over the next few days. The trains are mostly running at full capacity, with 22 coaches.

Learning from its “lessons” of 2020, when the abrupt suspension of all trains services in late March followed by a nationwide lockdown saw thousands of migrants taking to walk back home, the government this time is said to have decided to keep the train services running, sources said.

“Our divisions are keeping a close watch on the demand that is arising out of any area. We are introducing special trains to cater to that demand and if that train is full, we are running additional trains to clear the waiting lists,” a senior Railway Board official said. “The regular mail/express trains running with very little occupancy have been temporarily suspended,” he added.

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