Travelling is the best move to explore the versatile land of India and train is the best transport medium for the same. Though, travelling with different means has its own pros and cons, but a journey with best food options in train will make you deeply revel in the joyful essence of a train journey.

Pantry Car and E-Catering Service:
Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia which runs 12,617 trains and carries 23 million passenger everyday which is a huge number. The introduction of pantry car was done in various trains to make food available to the passengers, but unfortunately it was not up to passengers’ expectation. Later, IRCTC stared e-catering services in train through which the passengers can order food online in train of their choice which added a relishing element in the journey. It allows passengers to travel without preparing an extra baggage and set yourself free from the stress of getting tasty food in train. In a nutshell, passenger can choose from the vast menu and order food as per their preference. It was as easy as playing a game because the food was available within a few clicks.

In the era of technology, our smartphones can do wonders when supported with a strong signal and internet. Indian trains crosses through diverse routes and there are high probabilities of low network coverage which might not support your smartphones even with a free internet package. Passengers have to face such situation which can be a major issue for availing online services like checking train status, ordering food online in train and tracking the train location. The situation worsens if the journey is of two or three days long. Specially, when it comes to ordering food in train via e-catering means, the passengers can face immense problems as they have to wait for the train to enter a high network zone so that operating internet becomes easy. However there’re some situations during train journey where passengers rank e-catering services on their top priority list. Some of them are:

  1. No Food Availability
    Before travelling, some passengers prepare homemade food for the entire journey. If the journey is of long duration, the food gets spoiled because of bacterial reactions. In such situation the e-catering service is preferred for food ordering. The ordering process can be supported with a network in a running train. There are many railways routes or belt lacking network or weak signals. It becomes difficult to order food online for the next station.

  2. Pantry car with limited options
    If you get food on time at your seat it’s like a cherry on the cake. Although the pantry car serves food, but later the services were disappointing leading to bad experience for the passengers. The menu option is very limited and fixed. Passenger can’t order as per their choice, and forced to consume the dull, unimpressive, tasteless, and unhygienic quality food of the pantry car. To combat with such issue number of online platform are available for the passengers to order food in train, but the service is worthless if your train crosses through a low network coverage belt.

  3. Trains halting after long hours at stations
    Many Superfast express trains don’t halt for long and sometimes cross major stations. If the passenger is out of food he/she has to wait for the next station to get some food items with the risk of its availability. The facility of e-catering has to intervene the scene through which the passenger can order food via apps for online food ordering in train. The service being entirely hosted and operated online, needs a strong network support but low network coverage areas might not support this online service.

Tips for Ordering Food Online in a low network coverage area

  1. Use Apps which functions without Internet
    In today’s era where everything is just a click away, the technology has also facilitated with the app which can be accessible on an offline mode. It allows easy navigation make your work easy. Such food ordering apps proves as a blessing for the passengers in terms of the ordering food even without internet connection. Through such apps you can order food in your train route journey where your phone don’t have the strong network, or sometime have no network.

    Credit: vantageasia.com

  2. Try calling the e-caterer:
    Ordering via call is one of the most frequent ways to order food and get it delivered at your seat. Weak network might not support online process but can connect you with the catering service provider directly. Try calling and place your order directly. The call might disconnect but the food advisors will call you back to place your order for the next station.
  3. Can make payment by COD (Cash on Delivery) to avoid online payment failure:
    Since the food ordering process is passing through a weak network set up, it is advised to choose for COD (Cash on Delivery) option as your final payment mode. If the train crosses from the area having low network coverage can create an obstruction for making online payment. You might face a continuous redirection cycle. COD is one of the best options for this type of the situation to get your food order at your seat at your desire station.
  4. Call on Helpline number of IRCTC for updates
    Probably, if any traveler has any concern regarding train status, stations and halt, then the helpline numbers of IRCTC is the relevant reserve for such types of inquiries. Call the helpline number directly and know the details of your query.
  5. Reach out to e-catering service provider over Twitter:
    Twitter is a micro-blogging site through which the passenger can voice their grievances. It’s the most active social media platform where users get immediate response. If you want to order food, you can leave a direct message or tweet your concern about food ordering. The e-caterer will contact you soon and arrange food for you at the next station.

Experiencing low network coverage is common in train but let it not ruin the fun of your journey. Track your network regularly and get food ordered in train of your choice.

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Author: Rohit Choubey

Rohit is an avid guest blogger as well an eminent digital marketeer. He has immense passion towards food blogging. His hobbies include travelling, cooking and watching movies. He is the content analyst at RailRestro