Railway Budget Aims To Introduce Digital Innovations

Minister of Railways Dinesh Trivedi, in his Railway Budget has proposed many e-initiatives for passengers.

To leverage the growing use of mobiles, the Railways is gearing up with a number of innovative ideas to make traveling more convenient. The tip of the iceberg is the satellite-based Real Time Train Information System (RTIS), also called SIMRAN, to provide accurate train running information to passengers. Commuters will get the accurate position of the trains on their phones by means of a simple SMS or an e-mail. The system is already active on 36 trains covering Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos. Railways plans it to have on all mail/express trains in the next 18 months.

Passengers will soon have in-train displays that will highlight the upcoming station & expected arrival time too! Recently, Railways had also started accepting SMS sent to their phones as a proof of valid e-ticket reservation. This is also a nice way to save paper! Earlier the SMS simply contained PNR, train number, date of journey. But the revised format will also have name and number of passengers, coach and seat number and fare paid.

Another unique initiative by the railways was the Book-a–meal concept wherein multiple choices of meals including low-cost meal and diabetic meals could be booked through SMS or e-mail. With its mobile version already popular Railways can soon see passengers booking tickets while sitting at the platforms!

Moreover, some railway stations were connected with BluFi to offer free WiFi. If the Government continues with such nifty ideas, it will surely see a healthy rise in the Business class people who earlier traveled by air to avail such services.

Have you recently booked tickets online & traveled in Trains? Do share your experience.

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