Indian railways are an indispensable part of our country’s infrastructure and transportation. It can also be called as financial backbone for the transport industry which generates total revenue of approx. Rs.1630.50 million P.A. Apart from carrying millions of passengers and generating revenue receipt of Rs. 450 crores per day, Indian railways deals in freight services and other facilities like the parcel, carriage etc. which fetches substantial returns used for economic development of the country. From decades the Indian railway has witnessed an expansion and advancements, making it the fourth longest rail network in the world with an operating route length of 65,000 km.
Indian Railways at present have adopted the evolving growth of internet and computerization. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is now online and has adopted digitization through which the passengers can avail infinite facilities from the comfort of home, like:
1. Booking of Online Tickets: The first and foremost change which India has witnessed after digitization of railways is the booking of tickets online. The IRCTC has transformed the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and now everyone can book tickets online with various payment modes like the debit card, credit card, internet banking, or by IRCTC prepaid card. You can also check PNR Status online. Just log in to irctc.co.in and follow these simple steps to book your ticket online.
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a) Create an account on irctc.co.in. Remember!!Your mobile number and Email Id is a must requirement. Fill in your details and confirm your account. You will be automatically logged into your account. Do not create multiple accounts as the website admin can disable them.
b) Fill in your journey details and get the list of trains’ available on the route. Choose the class you want to travel from the choices like CC (Chair Car), AC 2 tier, 3 tier, and sleeper class. Check the seat availability there.
c) Once decided, click on the button representing the class and the page redirects to another page which needs details like name, age, sex, of the passenger. Fill the entire details and the page will redirect to the payment page with options to pay.
d) Once the payment is done, the ticket gets generated which contains all the details. You can save the copy of your ticket. A message instantly blinks on your mobile number containing the journey details. You can also use the message as your ticket.
NOTE: Please carry a valid ID proof during the journey.
2. Online Tatkal Ticket Booking: The process of tatkal booking is almost the same. The difference is only of the limited timings (10AM to 12PM) with a valid ID proof number like Aadhar card, Pan Card, Driving License number while booking. Now avoid the crowd at stations! Go Digital!
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3. Helpline no. 139: Are you facing an uncontrollable crowd at the inquiry counters? No more!! Indian railways have launched their helpline number 139. Just dial 139 for any query you have and the representatives on the other side will answer your entire query related to railways. You can also SMS your queries on 139 and get an instant reply. You can also get this information online @ indianrailways.gov.in.
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For PNR Enquiry: SMS “PNR” to 139
For Train Arrival and Departure: SMS “AD”to139
For Accommodation Availability: SMS “SEAT ” to 139
For Fare Enquiry: SMS “FARE ” to 139
For Train Time Table: SMS “TIME” to 139
Note: Standard Charges of Rs. 3 applicable per SMS.
Note: Standard Charges of Rs. 3 applicable per SMS
4. Catering Services: Most of the trains have pantry cars attached to facilitate the passengers for meal booking. You can contact the catering staffs/ attendants/ coach conductors and place your order. Now various e- catering companies have partnered with IRCTC to deliver hot and fresh food in train. Now food of your choice is served at your seat within few clicks, irrespective of the route you are travelling. RailRestro is one of the widest used online meal booking platforms which provides hot and fresh food to the passengers travelling in train. Now no more disappointing food experience by train! From the varieties of vegetarian dishes to non vegetarian dishes and special veg/non-veg platters, RailRestro can deliver everything on your seat. Just call 8102-888-111 or visit our website for online food ordering in train. See what Mr. Manish Chandra (CEO of RailRestro) has to say about e- catering services:
“It is indeed an honour for us to be working with Railways through IRCTC as the partner of choice on their site. The arrangement will allow the passengers to be able to avail the service of their choice, rather than be limited and constrained by the licensed food suppliers”.
Is your baby crying for hot and fresh milk in train?
Are you travelling with a patient who needs hot water for medication and other purposes?
Then RailRestro is the solution. We provide free hot water service to the needy patients and hot milk on every station for your sweet little ones. We love to see your baby smiling throughout the journey.
5. Twitter- A Game of 140 Characters: Social media is one of the platforms for expressing one’s views. Just tweet with your PNR and contact details directly to the ministry of railways regarding any complaints and get a speedy response.
Case Study: How twitter was a savior for 27 students travelling in a delayed train without pantry car
6. Book Bedrolls Online: now you can book your bedrolls online @ irctctourism.com. The bedrolls are provided for free in AC 1st class, 2 tier, and 3 tier compartments. A minimum fee Rs.25 is charged for the Garibrath trains during the booking procedure.
7. Other Helpline Numbers: Apart from 139 there are other helpline numbers which every passenger can dial immediately for help. They are active for 24 hours and 7 days a week.
Security helpline number for criminal incidents/RFP: 1800-111-322 and 182
For coach maintenance catering complaints and medical emergencies: 138
For any grievances on catering, overcharging price, suggestions, quality complaints: 1800-111-139 and 1800-111-321
For Train Inquiries: 139 (Chargeable).
Share your PNR and contact details during the call.
So the untapped potential of Indian railways is now tapped by employing best resources and by moving towards the era of digitization. Use these services and make your journey safe and special.
“INDIAN RAILWAY WISHES YOU A HAPPY JOURNEY”