Indian Railways Ticketing – IS for common man
This was supposed to be my first longest travel on Indian Railways. It just took twenty minutes for me to book tickets from Bangalore to Goa online.
I was waiting listed with WL120. My friends assured me I will get confirmed as there is one more week for the travel. What surprised me was I never
went back to the site http://www.irctc.co.in to check if my seat got confirmed.
All that I did was sending SMS to 676747. At last on penultimate day I got the reply SMS with confirmation. I was surprised with the response
time of my query to PRS (passenger reservation system). As soon as I pressed send button and came out of Inbox; I heard my mobile beeping with
the latest status. Very much less than 2 seconds. I decided to dig deep into their system as soon as I return from Goa.
Centre for Railway Information Systems was established by Ministry of Railways in 1986 to handle all the IS related activities in Indian Railways. It
started functioning from July 1987 as an autonomous society. CRIS is responsible for the projects like
CONCERT – Country-wide Network for Computerized Enhanced Reservation and Ticketing
FOIS Freight Operations Information Systems
NTES National Train Enquiry System
PRS – Passenger Reservation System
Indian Railways is the world’s second largest railway, with 6853 stations, 63,028 KM of track, 37,840 passenger coaches. Carrying 4.83 billion of
passengers annually and 492 million tons of goods. Around 11 million travels climb the train everyday into one of its 8,520 trains. Their journey can
start anywhere in India and can end anywhere within 6853 stations. The scope of the project can be estimated from this requirement.
There were several versions of PRS which went into production failed under this huge demand. These systems were limited to booking the tickets
with in their area. The version 3 of the PRS called Impress developed in 1990 also fell short of the growing expectations. At last there was a
requirement for the software with networking capabilities. On April 1999 a system was introduced networking all the five (Chennai, Secunderabad,
New Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai) PRS nodes across the country. Now anywhere to anywhere ticketing was possible. The whole network was called
In order facilitate the booking and enquiry many interfaces were introduced like Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRS), Passenger Operated
Enquiry Services, Online (Internet) booking and enquiry, SMS (mobile) booking and PNR enquiry.
Its internet enquiry site www.indiarail.gov.in receives 4.5 million hits per day during a busy day. The site has 3 Alpha DS-20 servers and 7
webservers. And 2 Proliant servers (Red Hat 7.3) act as Firewall with checkpoint software. It has Redhat Linux ES based Prolient server acting as
management server and similar server with Redhat Linux 7.3 acting as DNS. The site is operational since 15 August 2002. Gets usually 30,00,000 hits
per day, And about 300,000 SMS enquiries per month.
Unreserved ticketing systems consitues the biggest component of total ticketing. UTS is the complete solution to provide computerised
unreserved tickets. It includes the terminal at the stations, automatic vendor machines, hand held terminals etc.
of the date of journey. A passenger can buy a ticket for any destination from the UTS counter for all such destinations which are served by that
station. The cancellation of tickets has also been simplified. Passengers can cancel their tickets one day in advance of the journey from any
station provided with a UTS counter. On the day of journey, the ticket can be cancelled from station from which the journey was to commence.
Hon’ble Minister further apprised that more than 1.2 crore passengers travel in unreserved coaches and trains and thus form the bulk of rail users.
This facility was initially provided at 10 stations of Delhi area in the first stage of UTS as a pilot project on 15 August 2002. Another 13 stations of
Delhi area were provided with UTS counters in the second stage on 2nd Oct, 2002. It has now been extended in an integrated manner to stations
at Amritsar, Jallandhar City, Ludhiana Cantt., Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow and Varanasi Cantt. stations, completing the second phase
of installation of UTS. With this inauguration the Amritsar-Varanasi route has been covered by the UTS technology from today. This will provide
great convenience to lakhs of passengers from the State of Punjab , Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The latest technologies being eTicketing and SMS booking. Now you can buy the tickets until the last 4 hours online using iTicketing. Buy the
tickets online, take a print and travel with an identity card. The SMS booking allows you to book the tickets using the mobile phone. If the user is
the registered user of http://www.irctc.co.in/ , he can book the tickets using the mobile phone, which is easy isn’t it? Indian Railways is the one
where I have seen the biigested IT infracture deployed for common man. Its truely IT working for common man.
To avail this service, the user can log on to www.irctc.co.in and book his ticket on the Internet just like any normal booking, and selecting ‘e-
Ticket’ in the Plan My Travel page. The user has to give the photo identity card details of any one of the passengers, while booking the ticket. On
confirmation of his booking, the user can take a print of the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS) and can perform the journey with the ERS and the
photo identity card.
Send PNR to 676747