Indian Railways are very aptly called the lifeline of India...considered to the most safe and reliable mode of transport which as has served the nation for the past 150 years. Indian Railways is also a major employer of the country as it provides jobs to 1.6 million people.
Some notable achievements of Indian railways which can be lauded are
- Providing transport links through 63,140 routes, it is one of the largest railway system in the world
- A wide fleet with 7800 locomotives, 40,000 coaches, 3,26,000 wagons, 9 pairs of Rajdhani and 13 pair of Shatabdi Express currently operated on almost daily basis.
- Indian Railways operates 11,000 trains, and transports more than 1 million tonnes freight regularly. Amongst 11.000 trains, 7000 trains are used by people for commuting purposes.
- The classes of travel available on Indian Railways are 1st AC, 2nd AC, 3rd AC, AC Chair Car, IInd Sleeper and IInd Ordinary Class.
Indian Railways has surely kept up the pace with the revolution in information technology. You can easily check out loads of information about Indian Railways, their achievements, records and statistics as well. Indian Railways Online is definitely a marvelous surprise as apart from this information you can get your train tickets booked, canceled as well. You can know the train status, its scheduled as well current arrival and departure times as well, its availability status and other vital information as well.
Indian Railways Booking and Reservation
Booking a ticket for traveling on Indian trains in the past would mean loss of precious day time or locating a reliable ticketing agent who would deliver reserved tickets in the train of your choice or at the same time you could have to plan your ticket very much in advance to get confirmed booking.
But Indian Railways has gone a step ahead and revolutionized the entire booking system. Now, with the aid of the Internet you could easily book your tickets in the train of your choice either through your personal computer, laptop or a cyber cafe.... All you would require is registration at www.irctc.co.in ,he official ticket booking website of Indian Railways and a credit card or a debit card. The online booking of train tickets of Indian Railways is simple and very user friendly. As you browse through the site you will be able to locate almost all details about the trains such as
- Train Fare / Berth / Accommodation Details
- Trains between Destinations
- Passengers Reservation Status
- Vacant Berth Status on Running Train
- Ticket Availability Status
In case you book through their website irctc.co.in, you will have an option of availing an i-ticket or an e-ticket. An e-ticket allows you to book the ticket and get a print copy on your own at a charge of Rs 25 while an i-ticket has to be done at least 2 days in advance enabling its delivery at the address preferred by you.. For payment you have several gateways of banks and credit cards which have to be used. In case you opt for an i-ticket you need to carry an valid identification with you say a Voter identity card / Passport / Pan card / Driving license / Photo I/d card of Central / State Government issued to their employees.
In order to further facilitate passengers using the Indian Railways a special scheme called "Tatkal" booking is also made available wherein you could book for tickets five days in advance of the train journey and they are slightly more expensive than the regular tickets.
For the dedicated users of the Suburban rail service, they can avoid standing in long, serpentine queues and book their monthly or quarterly passes on line using www.irctc.co.in and travel with much ease and comfort.
In order to facilitate the train passengers of Indian railways, there is a provision to ascertain the PNR status and the seat availability status of a specified train too. This facility is available to public from 8 AM to 8 PM IST on weekdays and on Sundays, you can get access this information from 8 hrs to 14.00 hrs IST only. Online reservation can be done from 5.00 hrs IST till 23.00 hrs on daily basis on weekdays while on Sunday the cut off time is slightly earlier. The website undergoes maintenance from 23.00hrs to 5.00hrs daily, hence during this period status updates are not available, whereas other information such as train details, train schedules, train fares, train routes are available.
Indian Airlines and Indian Railways are both domestic carriers... with the opening up of the skies and new entrants such as low cost airlines in the transport segment, Indian Airlines as well as Indian Railways have borne the brunt of being left out in the race. In order to stay in the race, Indian Railways is promising better travel facilities, food and refreshments and other ancillary services in the first class and air conditioned coaches with a fare similar to that of air ticket to a destination. But at the same time, Indian Airlines has the advantage of the time factor added with the middle class urge to opt for air travel and hence they are ready to pay marginally more than a first class rail ticket. Here, it becomes a tight race between the Indian Airlines and Indian Railways as to have will able to capture a major percent of the travel traffic.