The Railway Board has announced that clone trains — full fledged trains to be run behind the fully booked original express trains to meet the high demand from passengers — will be operated from September 21 through 20 pairs of rakes, or train sets, across the country.
The Board, in an official notification to the zonal headquarters, has informed that fares of the clone trains will be as per the ‘Humsafar’ trains and the train sets too will be from those. South Central Railway (SCR) has been allotted two train sets of clone specials — from Secunderabad to Danapur in Bihar and vice-versa for train numbers 2787 and 2788. These are to be run daily with halts at Balarshah, Nagpur, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni, Prayagraj and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction.
Earlier this month, Chairman of Railway Board and first CEO, V.K. Yadav had informed that special clone trains will be run on routes where there is heavy traffic and long waitlists. The clone train will be run ahead of the actual train with fewer halts for the passengers’ convenience. Waitlisted passengers are to be informed of their seat numbers soon after reservation charts of the original train are drawn up four hours before the departure for being accommodated in the clones.
Deputy director (coaching) Rajesh Kumar, in his detailed note to the General Managers, stated that these special clone trains will be fully reserved and limited halts were decided after discussions with the respective State governments due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
While 19 of these trains are based on ‘Humsafar’ train sets, the Delhi-Lucknow train will be a ‘Jan Shatabdi’ train set and will have the same fare. Zonal railways have been given the freedom to review the operations of these trains. Most of clone specials are towards Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand.
Three zones will run 10 special clone trains each — East Central Railway towards Sahasra, Rajgir, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur from Delhi; Northern Railways starting from Delhi, Amrtisar, etc., towards Lucknow, Varanasi, etc.; Western Railway towards Darbhanga, Chapra, Patna, Prayagraj, etc., from Ahmedabad, Surat, Bandra and so on.