People can now book a train or a coach on the Internet. “I am expanding the scope of online booking. People can book a train, a coach, a berth and a seat in a chair car,” railway minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said. The minister said the revamped e-ticketing system would be able to handle 7,200 tickets per minute and would allow 120,000 simultaneous users to log on to the railways website. Platform tickets and unreserved tickets will also be made available online.
Ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands will be served on-board trains to improve food quality. The government also sought to cancel vendors’ contract if services were not up to the mark. A quality assurance mechanism through a third party audit is also on the cards. Gowda said the railways would also set up food courts at the stations.
Special steps are being taken and instructions issued to ensure safety of women travelling alone in all classes of trains. To strengthen security in trains and stations, 17,000 RPF constables have been recruited and they will be shortly available for deployment. “We also propose to recruit 4,000 women RPF constables,” Gowda said.
IT initiatives get a big boost in the budget. The railways has proposed real-time tracking of trains and rolling stocks, mobile-based wakeup call system for passengers, mobile-based destination arrival alert and Wi-fi services in select trains and stations. For business travellers, the railways will provide workstations in select trains on payment basis.