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IRCTC website crashes as bookings for 15 trains reopen

Update at 4:12 pm: The IRCTC website, irctc.co.in, has crashed, likely from the sudden surge in traffic. Multiple users have not been able to load the website.   

Indian Railways is gradually restarting passenger trains — not just for migrant workers — from May 12, allowing bookings only on the IRCTC website. Trains will run on 15 routes from and to Delhi, completing 30 return journeys. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations will remain closed and no counter tickets — including platform tickets — will be issued. The “special trains” will ply from Delhi to/from Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.

Fares will be similar to those for Rajdhani trains, and tatkal and waitlists will not be allowed, Indian Express reported. Only passengers with confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railways stations, and only passengers who are asymptomatic for COVID-19 will be allowed to board the train. People will also have to wear masks and undergo screening at departure.

Passenger trains were suspended on March 22 midnight for almost 50 days. IRCTC, which was publicly listed in October last year, made 76% of its profits and 32% of its revenue in Q3FY20 from internet ticketing.

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