The Mumbai suburban train network resumed services for the general public (only fully vaccinated individuals) on Sunday. Reportedly, an increased number of locals have been deployed across the MMR, including the Western and Central Railway lines to meet an increased influx of passengers, effective from today. It may be noted that only those who comply with the norms of safe train travel and are in possession of a travel pass, will be permitted to board the trains.
Special teams, railway staff and RPF to check tickets at local stations
Earlier, general passengers were restricted from traveling in the Mumbai locals in a bid to curb the growth in coronavirus cases. After about 4 months of the closure, the state devised a travel pass facility for vaccinated individuals to ensure normalcy amid the pandemic lull. Up until now, only those engaged in essential services were allowed to travel in the Mumbai locals. As per the travel guidelines, passengers can board local trains, 14 days after they have gotten their second dose jab, via a season ticket.
These passes can be procured in an offline and/or online mode, as per the convenience of the passengers. Both modules were launched ahead of the official resumption on August 15. The staff of the Railway Protection Force and special squad teams have been deployed to check the validation of vaccination certificates and railway passes here. Regular ticket checking inspectors will also check the passes within the train compartments.
Mumbai locals to operate 95% of its pre-COVID fleet
In a bid to cater to the increased passenger load, the Indian Railways has decided to induct more local train services in its operating fleet, effective from August 16. Up until now, around 1,201 train services were functional on the Western line, which will be increased to 99 additional services to reach 1,300. Similarly, the 1,612 services of the Central line will be boosted by 74 more services to make it 1,686 suburban services.
Overall, around 2,986 suburb local train services across both railway lines will ply as the 'lifeline of Mumbai' at 95% of the pre-COVID local train fleet in Mumbai. As per reports, about 3,1441 train services were active in Mumbai and neighbouring regions before the onset of the pandemic.