Intra-state passenger train services resumed in the country on Friday, nearly two months after being suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown, with the operation of three trains in Karnataka, the South Western Railway said.
While the Bengaluru-Belagavi tri-weekly superfast special was the first and left Bengaluru at 8 am, a pair of daily special trains was operated between the city and Mysuru, the South Western Railway said.
"First intra-state passenger train in India after March 22 started in South Western Railway. We are back to normal," it said in a statement.
The train to Mysuru left at 9.20 am and reached the destination at 12.15 pm. In the return direction, the train from Mysuru left at 1.45 pm, it said.
The passengers were allowed to board the trains with face masks while ensuring social distancing and other precautions, it said adding these trains will have stoppage at important stations.
After Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa recommended resumption of intra-state services in the state, the Railways approved running of four trains - two each from Bengaluru to Belagavi and Mysuru, the statement said.
"We have opened reservation counters at major stations across Bengaluru. Ticket booking can be done from these booking offices now. All are advised to ensure physical distancing and wearing of mask," it said.
Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi was instrumental in resumption of trains in a graded manner in Karnataka, the railway statement said.
All passenger trains were suspended across the country under the national lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus across the country since March 25.
Recently, railways resumed passenger train operations with 15 pairs of special trains from New Delhi to different parts of the country while 100 pairs of specials are scheduled to begin operations from June 1.
Intra-state bus services have also been allowed in Karnataka.