The Indian Railways Tuesday decided to restore from October 10 the earlier system of preparation of second reservation charts 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains from stations. The system was modified to two hours in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the last few months.
In a statement, the national transporter said as per the established pre-COVID period instructions, the first reservation chart was prepared at least four hours before scheduled departure of trains. Thereafter, the available accommodation could be booked across PRS counters as well as through the internet on a first-come-first-serve basis till preparation of second reservation charts. The second reservation charts were prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before scheduled/rescheduled time of departure of trains. Cancellation of already booked tickets was also permitted during this period as per provisions of Refund Rules.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, instructions were issued to shift the time of preparation of the second reservation chart to two hours before scheduled/ rescheduled time of train departure. As per request of Zonal Railways for ensuring convenience of rail passengers, the matter has been examined and it has been decided that the second reservation chart shall be prepared at least 30 minutes before scheduled/rescheduled time of departure of train," the statement said.
"Accordingly, ticket booking facility, both online and on PRS ticket counters, shall be available, before preparation of second chart. CRIS will make necessary modifications in the software accordingly so as to restore this provision with effect from October 10," it said.
The Railways had suspended all passenger trains services due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown from March 25. However, it resumed services in a staggered manner beginning with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from May 1.