From Innovative Trains To Bar-Coded Tickets, 15 Things That Will Make Your Rail Travel Easy
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People from all walks of life are hailing this year's Rail Budget that has given the travellers many reasons to rejoice. In his Rail budget speech, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu proposed a number of new measures keeping the focus on the common man. The rail budget is pro business owners who will be able to travel hassle-free with a slew of innovative features announced. The minister announced that the Railways will invest Rs 12,500 crore on providing more amenities to passengers from 2015-19. Here are key announcements that promise to make your travel easier:
Much to the delight of the passenger community, the fares have not increased this year.
Ticketing made easier
- Tickets can be booked 120 days ahead of travel date, instead of 60 days now.
- 'Operation Five Minutes' initiative introduced in which passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes. Vending machines and 'single destination teller' windows will be used to reduce the purchase time. The ticket vending machines would be made compatible with not only cash but also credit/debit cards.
- Railways will introduce e-ticket facility for foreign debit and credit card holders.
- Railways will soon introduce a system through which people can check latest berth availability on running trains.
Hi-Tech and Digital
- In addition to the present alert system, SMS alert service to be introduced for train arrivals and departures. The SMS service will inform passengers in advance the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.
- Wi-Fi to be available at 400 railway stations
- The e-catering service will be expanded to more trains to provide freedom for passengers to select their meals from an array of choices. Food can be ordered through the IRCTC website at the time of booking of tickets.
- A delightful separate menu for children
- Water vending machines will be installed in more stations to ensure availability of clean drinking water at very low cost.
- On-board entertainment system will be introduced on select Shatabdi trains. Later, it will be extended to all Shatabdis, depending on the response.
- Mobile phone charging facilities would be provided in general class coaches and the number of charging facilities would be increased in sleeper class coaches.
- Surveillance cameras will be used for security and monitoring
- Drones to monitor remote railway projects.
Travel Time reduced
- The speed of 9 railway corridors will be increased from the existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight.
- Railways plans to introduce modern train system called train sets to providing better riding experience and about 20 per cent savings in journey time. These new trains will be similar to bullet trains in design and can run on existing tracks. The first set of these trains would be introduced within the next two years.Prabhu has been quite active on social media and he has been tapping technology to provide services to Rail passengers.