Indian Railway

Journey in a train brings an element of fun and enthusiasm in the travelers. Facilities given by Indian Railways are launched online for the comfort and ease of travelers. One of the facilities which are available online and offline is the booking of tickets for a train traveler. Now, passengers can register their profile on IRCTC official website and can book tickets anytime for any destination. Well, booking of tickets is also done offline by computerized reservation centers at railway stations. They can fill up the ticket requisition form with details and submit to the reservation staff over the counter and according to the seat availability status (CNF, WL, RAC) the tickets are booked. The same process is followed for booking online with additional functionalities like checking of PNR confirmation probability, cash back rewards, booking of cabs, hotels etc. IRCTC official website is a one-stop collection for all traveling needs.

Apart from the fact, that railway facilities have been made online and decentralized to the control of customers (especially for ticket booking), there are never-ending complaints like slow server speed, internet challenges during tatkal bookings, payment issues, login issues and responsiveness of the website/application etc. However, IRCTC has revamped its website and resolved the issues for its customers. Now travelers can easily order food in train within a few clicks. As a result, thirteen lakh transactions are successfully done on IRCTC website on a daily basis. One of the serious complaints of every passenger while booking their tickets online or offline is that they don’t get their preferred class of berth. RailRestro will clear the fact as to why travelers face this issue while booking their tickets.

The Science Working Behind Allotment of Seats

Allotment of a berth in the Indian Railways is a systematic process. Getting berth of your choice is not as easy as getting movie tickets with a seating plan. There’s a science and an algorithm working behind the scenes. Imagine you’re inquiring about seat availability for your journey and you get to see 500 seats available. You book the tickets with an expectation to get a lower berth for a comfortable journey, but your mood lands to an expression of sadness and distress when you’re allotted an upper/middle/side upper berth. You will still find 499 tickets left! Why’s this so?

The software with the algorithm operating behind the scene books seats in such a way that all coaches have uniform passenger distribution. With a view of equal load distribution, the software books lower berth tickets first to achieve a low center of gravity. There are many quotas for the lower berth plus Railways prefer pregnant ladies and senior citizens for lower berth allotment. As the lower berth is booked the next class available for allotment is the middle berth. The seats are filled starting from the middle seats (36) to seats near the gates i.e 1-2 or 71-72. As the allotment of the middle berth is completed, then the software starts booking upper berths. The booking cycle starts from the lower berth first and completes by reserving upper berths. This is why when you book tickets at the last; you’re allotted with an upper berth seat.

What happens if this Booking Format Breaks?

A train is a moving object with forces and mechanics acting continuously while running on tracks. Imagine a train having compartments S1, S2, S3, S4——————-S10, S11 running with an average speed of 70Km/hour. Imagine a train with sleeper compartments S1 and S2 fully loaded with passengers with S3 and S4 vacant and then with very minimum passengers till S11. This will lead to a high imbalance of centrifugal force in each coach. Some coaches might face maximum centrifugal force and some coach minimum, and this creates a high chance of the derailment of a train while applying brakes or during any turn. There are high chances of accidents as stability gets disturbed because of the huge differences in weight of coaches.

So, next time when you blame IRCTC for non- allotment of your preferred berth, do remember, it’s your safety which Railways have listed in their priority list.

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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