Book tickets, meals via railway app
NEW DELHI: Unsure about the credibility of train status information offered by portals? Ended up being served a wrong meal on train by a private online player? Such issues might well be passé.
The Indian Railways is rolling out an “integrated rail mobile app” that will offer a range of services — from ticket bookings to gift purchases to cab and hotel bookings or notifying security alerts.
The virtual platform may be operational as early as this year-end, officials said.
The app will provide multiple options to passengers — from checking status on wait-listed tickets to exploring possibilities of alternative flight tickets to preordering meals or watching videos from a “downloadable Wi-fi”.
Several private companies, including railyatri.com, makemy-trip.com and yatra.com, have been doing robust business by using the data on train travel.
A railway official asked, “When it is possible for the railways to take advantage of the business opportunity in the area, why should we allow the private players to flourish?”
The enterprise currently has about a dozen partner alliances for digital services. These include the Shriram General Insurance, Alibaba.com, Amazon.com and the Ginger Hotels. “But we are only skimming the surface, as of now,” an official said. “The business potential is much bigger.”
The railways currently hosts several web services, including those offered by IRCTC, National Train Enquiry System, Unreserved Ticketing System and Complaint Management System.
“But the services are currently scattered across different sites,” said another railway official. “Passenger complaints have also been that their sites get automatically re-directed, leading to confusion. Hence, the need for an integrated site.”