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As many start to travel again and resume activities after Unlock 4.0, trains are making a comeback. To tackle the demand for tickets, Indian Railways has announced a ‘clone train’ scheme for all waitlisted passengers in routes with high passenger traffic. The news comes after the Indian Railways announced the addition of 80 special trains to the already existing 230 from September 12.
While attending a media briefing, Railway Board chairperson VK Yadav said that the railways will be monitoring all the trains currently operating in order to find out which ones have a long waiting list. And wherever there's a lengthy waiting list, the railways are going to run a clone train ahead of the actual train so that passengers have no problem in travelling.
In the next 15 days, the clone trains will begin functioning in a phased manner and dates will be announced by the Indian Railways through the issue of a notification.
Clone trains running ahead of special trains already operating will mostly be 3AC carriages. The clone train will have the same number as the actual train and will operate only if the said train gets fully booked and there is still a heavy demand from waitlisted travellers. It will only carry waitlisted ticket-holders.
These trains will have less stoppage than special trains with the facility of stopping at only major stations to meet the demand of the passengers. Therefore the clone trains will not halt at all the decided stops of the actual train and only accommodate those travellers who have bookings in those major stations.
The berth information of the waitlisted passengers travelling in a clone train will be released after the reservation charts for the actual trains are drawn up, which is four hours before departure.
Since additional rakes will be required for running the clone trains, the railways will be faced with quite a challenge. The plan to tackle this is by running the clone trains from major cities which are equipped with additional rakes. This scheme is similar to the ‘Vikalp Scheme’ under which waitlisted passengers are given accommodation in a different train on the same route regardless of quota and booking concession. The difference lies in the fact that in the ‘Vikalp Scheme’, the travelling time of the waitlisted passengers might increase if they are travelling in another train.
The routes are being finalised for the ‘clone train’ scheme and the probable date of commencement might be only 15 days away.
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