Indian Railways recently announced that it will operate 80 more special trains from September 12th in addition to the 230 trains already in service.
And it has now announced a “clone train” program to transport passengers with tickets on the waiting list to their destinations.
“Wherever there is a demand for a particular train and where the waiting list is long, we will drive a clone train before the actual train so that the passengers can travel,” said Chairman of the Railway Committee, VK Yadav, during a press conference.
“The railways will monitor all trains that are currently in service to see which trains have a long waiting list,” said Yadav.
These clone trains will run gradually over the next 15 days and a notification will be issued by Indian Railways.
Here is everything you need to know about the Clone Train Scheme.
- A clone train is a train that runs with the same number as the actual train. For example, if train number 02156 Bhopal Express, which runs between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Habibganj, is fully booked and there is still strong demand for passengers on the waiting list, Indian Railways will add another rake of the Bhopal Express with the same number just to carry the waitlisted ticket-holders.
2. The downtime of the clone trains is less than that of the special trains. The idea is to stop at large train stations so that clone trains meet people’s demands. So this clone train does not stop at the designated stops of the original and carries rakes that only relate to bookings for these important main stations.
3. The passengers on the waiting list will be informed of their berths in the clone train four hours before departure shortly after the reservation tables have been created for the trains originally planned.
4. The clone trains will primarily be 3AC trains and will run before the special trains that are already in operation.
5. Assets that are kept idle are causing losses for Indian Railways. However, this project cannot be done easily because some preparation is required. For example, the IR needs to upgrade its Passenger Reservation System (PRS), which is programmed to disable bookings of the train ticket after touching a waiting list for a train 400 in sleeping class, 300 in 3AC or a chair car, 30 in first class and 100 in second grade.
6. The railways also have to face a logistical challenge as additional rakes are required to operate the clone train. Therefore, an attempt is first made to run this type of trains from large cities where additional rakes are already in place.
7. Apart from these clone trains, the previous option of the “Vikalp Scheme” continues, where passengers have the option of booking the ticket on an alternative train if their tickets are on the waiting list on the train they have chosen cannot be confirmed.
8. The advantage of the clone train scheme over the Vikalp scheme is that the latter has the major disadvantage that the passenger’s travel time can increase if they are reserved on a different train. In the cloning scheme, it does not increase and can probably be shortened as well.
9. You will know when the final date for operating clone trains is set as it is widely distributed for the benefit of potential passengers. The lines are being completed, say the Indian railway authorities.
10. The expected surgery date could only be 15 days. But remember, you cannot board these clone trains with a current ticket. Only passengers on the waiting list will be accommodated in a clone train.