Railways to Drop ‘Special Trains’ Tag, Here’s What it Means

In a big move, the Indian Railways has now issued an order to discontinue the ‘special’ tag from mail and express trains and revert to pre-COVID train numbers and fares with immediate effect.

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It must be noted that ever since train services resumed after the COVID-induced lockdown was eased, the Railways has been running only special trains and festival or holiday special trains.

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Now, in a letter issued by the Railway Board, the Ministry of Railways has decided that all regular timetabled trains, currently operating as MSPC (Mail/Express Special) and HSP (Holiday Special) train services, shall be “operated with regular numbers and with fare and categorisation as applicable”.

Here is the complete order:


As per media reports, as many as 1700 trains will be restored in the next few days as various rail zones begin implementing the new changes.

The South Western Railway rail zone has shared a new update in this regard, detailing that once the ‘special train’ tag is removed, train numbers will no longer start with ‘0’ but instead, with ‘1’ or ‘2’. However, there will be some exceptions.

The trains will also run with pre-COVID fares, which, as per the press release, are set to be lesser than the fares applicable during COVID.

The rail zone has shared a list of 172 trains on its official Twitter handle that will now operate with new numbers:

These trains ply on many important routes, such as KSR Bengaluru – New Delhi, Lucknow – Yesvantpur, MGR Chennai Central – Mysuru and Patna – Vasco Da Gama amongst several others:

The changes are being gradually introduced by rail zones, with the new numbers being updated in the booking software over the next few days.

The new move by the national transporter is a huge step to return towards normalcy in the post-COVID world. Stay tuned with us for more updates in this regard!