The Indian Railways is resuming passenger train operations from Tuesday, nearly two months after services were stopped due to the nationwide lockdown imposed as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The railways opened bookings for passenger services on Monday with 15 trains a day connecting Delhi to Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other big cities.

“Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes,” the government said in a statement. The rail network, among the world’s largest, carries over 20 million people each day and is the lifeline for people living in far flung corners of the country.

The Railways ministry said that reservations were issued to more than 54,000 passengers, according to news agency ANI. Bookings for 15 passenger trains started from 6 pm on Monday, two hours behind the scheduled opening time.

All first AC three-tier AC tickets for the Howrah-New Delhi train were sold within the first 10 minutes and all seats were reserved in 20 minutes, news agency PTI quoted IRCTC as saying. The Howrah-New Delhi train is scheduled to begin its journey from Howrah at 5:05 pm on Tuesday.

All AC-1 and AC-3 tickets for the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi special trains were also sold by 6.30 pm.

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