Passengers on long-distance train journeys need not worry about packing meals anymore as the Railways has decided to resume cooked food services that had been suspended during the Covid pandemic.
The move comes days after the national transporters decided to discontinue the “special” tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect.
In a letter to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) today, the Railway Board said that in view of the normalising of train services and the relaxation of Covid curbs in restaurants and eateries across the country, it has been decided that cooked meals would be provided again on trains. The letter added that the service of Ready To Eat meals would also continue.
The Railways is gradually returning to the pre-pandemic scale of services after the Covid’s severely disrupted services. The national transporters first restored services of long-distance trains and then short-distance passenger services started operating as special special trains with “slightly higher fares” to “discourage people from avoidable travels”.
As the number of passengers picked up amid a slide in Covid cases, there were demands for a return to pre-Covid ticket prices — ticket prices of special trains and holiday special trains are marginally higher.
Last Saturday, the Railways decided to drop the “special” tag and return to the pre-pandemic ticket prices.
The Railways’ decision to resume serving cooked food on trains also comes days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed airlines to serve meals on all domestic flights.