New Delhi, Feb 11: Indian Railways has upgraded the speed of 488 trains across its various zones, Parliament was told on Wednesday.

In a written to a question in Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said: "With a view to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Railways discontinued all regular passenger carrying trains from March 23 last year and presently only special trains keeping in view the concerns and suggestions of state governments are being operated."

He, however, said that in its endeavour to rationalise time tables and speed up trains, which are ongoing exercises and which are dependent inter alia on factors like availability or upgradation of track, doubling of sections, upgradation of rolling stock, the Railways has decided to speed up both passenger and express train services, thereby upgrading them as Express and Superfast services, respectively.

Speed of 10 trains of the North Central Railway, 50 trains of the Central Railway, 16 trains of the Eastern Railway, 26 trains of the Northern Railway, 12 trains of the North Eastern Railway, 20 trains of the Northeast Frontier Railway, 42 trains of the Southern Railway, 59 trains of the South Central Railway, 36 trains of the South Eastern Railway, 68 trains of the Western Railway, 12 trains of the East Central Railway, 53 trains of the North Western Railway, 24 trains of the East Coast Railway, 34 trains of the South Western Railway, 12 trains of the West Central Railway, 8 trains of the South East Central Railway, and 6 trains of the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd have been increased.

During the nationwide lockdown, the Indian Railways had carried out extensive maintenance of its assets across the country. - IANS