Local train services in West Bengal will resume from next Wednesday (November 11). 

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Railways will resume suburban services in West Bengal from 11th November. With adequate safety measures in place, this will enhance passenger convenience and facilitate smooth travel for the people.”

Also read: Mamata Banerjee grants land rights to refugees

After a meeting between railway officials and the state government in Nabanna on Thursday (November 5) to discuss the modalities of service resumption, it was decided that Eastern Railway and South- Eastern Railway will initially operate around 20%-25% of their pre-COVID services.

At Thursday’s meeting, ER and SER proposed 362 services initially. 228 (114 pairs of trains) by ER in the Sealdah division; another 100 (50 pairs of trains) by ER in the Howrah division; and 34 (17 pairs of trains) by SER in the Kharagpur division.

A senior railway official said, “This is nearly 25% of the total number of services we used to run in the Sealdah and Howrah divisions. The South Eastern Railway is starting with about 20% services, and this will go up as and when required.”

“However, there will be no new timetable or changes in stoppages. We already have timetables for Howrah, Sealdah and Kharagpur. By Monday, we shall indicate which of the trains will run, so passengers can plan accordingly,” he added.

Also read: Tram showcasing jute items to run in Kolkata

Earlier on Tuesday (November 3), the West Bengal government had requested Eastern Railways (ER) and South Eastern Railways to run sufficient number of suburban trains connecting different nodes with Howrah and Sealdah stations for daily passengers while strictly observing the COVID-19 safety norms.

According to sources, it was decided that 210 local trains will be in service during office hours, both morning and evening, daily. The number of trains will be minimised during the rest of the day.

Initially, Railway authorities are targeting to resume the operations with 10-20 percent of the normal services which will be slowly increased to 25 percent.