IRCTC tie-up with Rail Europe for global access

IRCTC, the rail tourism body of the Indian Railways, is mulling a tie-up with Rail Europe, one of the largest global providers of international railway services, to increase global access to Indian luxury rail services.

The tie-up will provide customers across 50 countries in Australia, Asia, Africa and South America access to the luxury rail services like Palace on Wheels, which can be then booked on the Rail Europe website.

Rail Europe is a joint venture between French and Swiss national railways.

“We are still at the initial stages of discussion with Rail Europe. We are studying the different implications and looking at options for providing better value to our customers. Our basic aim is to provide customers with a one-stop shop for railway travel packages,” said IRCTC Managing Director Nalin Shinghal.

Confirming the development, Executive Director of Rail Europe India Gopi Iyengar said, “IRCTC approached us and we had a meeting two weeks back. We were also on a global lookout for expanding our railway product base. The luxury rail product in India interested us and we wanted to include that in our product base. This will also expand the global reach of these services.”

Foreign tourists constitute more than 90 per cent of the total customer base of luxury rail services in India which cost around Rs 16,000-Rs 17,000 per passenger per day.

India runs four such services, including Palace on Wheels and Heritage on Wheels in Rajasthan, Deccan Odyssey in Maharashtra and Golden Chariot in Karnataka.

All these services are joint ventures between Indian Railways and the respective state governments. Rajasthan Tourism department is now planning to introduce one more Palace on Wheels by the end of this year.

Currently, there is no one-stop shop for booking these rail tours. Customers who want to travel in them have to either book them on the state government websites or from travel agents.

IRCTC will also be making arrangements with the state governments to make luxury rail bookings available on its own website. Through the tie-up, Rail Europe is also looking at selling its own international packages on the IRCTC website.

Rail Europe currently has over 100,000 Indian customers bookings products from its website. The company expects its Indian customer base to significantly expand when its products are available on IRCTC.

“We are still studying the potential in the market,” said Iyengar. Meanwhile, IRCTC is also looking at promoting its other tour packages which it started selling last year. To that end, it has tied up with various travel portals like Makemytrip and Yatra to sell the packages on these portals.

INDIAN RAILWAY INDIRECT FARE INCREASE

The Railway budget of 2008-2009 says that we have not increase the fare from last 4 years, but reality is that they have increased the fare by making all the popular and trains which has 100% occupancy to super-fast category which means each ticket has been increased by 8 to 10% by super-fast charges. The position in southern Railway is that they no more have super-fast number to fill up. All the number from 2601 to 2699 has been allotted and now they have problem to give super-fast number to train which originate from southern or south western railway. (All the super fast trains start with the number 2 and the next number will be zone number for example southern railway has allotted 6, so all the super fast train number from southern railway will start from 26)

As on 1-4-2008 out of 810 pair of total Indian railway trains 400 trains has been converted in to super-fast/rajdhani/ shatabdi/janshatabadi/garibrath trains . that means 50% of Indian trains are come under this category. the remaining trains does not have good occupancy rate and they are mostly weekly or bi-weekly trains which are not so popular.

By 2012 we may not have any mail/express train in Indian railway as they are changing all train to super-fast category.

As there is no guideline for super-fast trains it seems that railway is duping the people by just changing the trains in to super-fast and charging more.

Here is an example;

2656 Chennai to Ahmadabad Nav jeevan express departure at 09.35 and reach Ahmadabad 19.25 next day and the journey hours is 33.50 hours and this is a super-fast train

6125 Chennai to Jodhpur exp departure time is 15.15 and reach Ahmadabad at 01.00 third day and the journey hours is 33.45 hours and this is not a super fast train. this train take 0.05 minute less then super-fast train.

kudos to Lalu and his team for doing this to Indian people who never thinks how he changed the Indian railway financial results.

One more thing they have done in last 4 years in the name of converting metre guage to broad guage they have also converted the old passenger trains to mail/express train which were running in this route when the B.G. line started . thus they converted all passenger train to mail/express train for which fare difference is nearabout 60% and thus getting 60% more revenue to the Indian railway.

Cash Awards of Rs. 17.40 crores to railwaymen

To boost the morale of all railwaymen across the country, the Union Railway Minister Shri Lalu Prasad has announced cash awards amounting to Rs. 17.40 crore for railway officers and staff of all Zonal Railways for their excellent contribution in achieving record revenue earning freight loading by Indian Railways during the year 2007-08. The group cash awards include Rs. 1 crore to each of the Zonal Railways, Rs. 20 lakhs to each of the six Production Units and Rs. 20 lakhs to Central Organization for Railway Electrification.

It may be mentioned that the Indian Railways have carried highest ever loading of more than 794 million tonnes during the financial year 2007-08. This has exceeded the initial Budgeted target of 785 MT and the revised estimate target of 790 MT loading. The highest ever incremental loading during a financial year of 65.59 MT has also now been achieved. This has beaten the previous record of 64.61 MT achieved in 2005-06.

The spectacular freight performance of Railway has firmly positioned it as an engine of economic growth in the country. This achievement is a testimony of the vision and dynamic leadership provided to Indian Railway by the Minister for Railways and the Ministers of State for Railways and the dedication, hard work and teamwork of all railwaymen.

Indian Railway have now set a target of loading 850 MT in 2008-09 and an ambitious target of 1100 MT of revenue earning freight traffic by the terminal year (2011-12) of the 11th Plan. The thrust henceforth will be to consolidate the position gained so far by equipping the system for higher growth.

Shri K. C. Jena, Chairman, Railway Board, in his message to all Railwaymen said that this cash award is an unprecedented gesture of the Railway Minister to salute an equally unprecedented achievement. Shri Jena called upon the Railwaymen to perform even better in the future to build the Railways into a vibrant, responsive and safe system.

Shri Jena said that zeal and zest of Railwaymen has resulted in 14.4 per cent growth in passengers earnings, 4.6 per cent in other coaching earnings, 48 per cent in sundry earnings and 13.5 per cent in freight earnings in 2007-08 compared to the previous year. He said that the projections for other indicators are also very encouraging. Gross traffic revenue is 14.5 per cent higher than the previous year and 0.2 per cent higher than the budget estimates. He said that operating ratio is likely to be 76.3 per cent (best in the world), the End Fund Balance is likely to increase to Rs. 20,483 crore ( 27 per cent more than budgeted target) and the Cash Surplus before dividend is expected to be Rs. 25,000 crore. All railway men deserve kudos for this heat-warming performance, he added.

WAIT LIST TICKET FOR E-TICKET STARTED BY IRCTC

The Indian Railways has now begun the e-ticketing service for waitlist for all trains through the IRCTC E-TICKET for sorting the long queues from the reservation window and making the reservation system more customers friendly.

This reservation service has begun from May 10, 2008 from the already available official website liable for e-ticking reservation www.irctc.co.in .

IRCTC has been booking around 15,000 waitlisted e-tickets per day.

REFUNDS RULES FOR WAITLIST E.TICKET BOOKED THROUGH INTERNET.

After chart preparation, the waitlisted e-ticket may either become fully confirmed or partially confirmed/partially RAC; or partially RAC/partially waitlisted or remain fully waitlisted.

In the first three cases, the names of passengers will appear on the reservation chart and they will be allowed to travel as per the reservation rules.

However, PNRs of those who remain fully waitlisted will be dropped and names of the passengers will not appear on the reservation chart.

They will not be allowed to board the train.

For refunds of fully waitlisted e-tickets after chart preparation, customers need not apply to IRCTC for cancellation and refund.

Their tickets will be cancelled online by Railways and refund shall be credited to user/agents accounts automatically, says a press release.

INDIAN RAILWAY’S DIAL-A-TICKET SERVICE

Soon, you would be able to get railway tickets at your doorsteps by just dialling a number.

Aptly named as “Dial-a-ticket”, the soon-to-be launched service of Railways is currently on trial.In a major boost towards improving passengers amenities, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is going to introduce its unique “Dial-a-Ticket” programme next month. Then passengers would be able to dial a unique number and book tickets over the phone. The tickets would be personally handed over to the passengers at their homes.

The aim is to shorten the queue at the ticket windows. Once operational, this will be a big step towards providing tickets at door steps as value-added facilities to railway passengers across the country.such a step will be a major boost for decongesting ticket counters. “Ticket counters of major stations like New Delhi are always crowded. Such a step, thus, will help from the security angle too.

About the mode of payment, initially a caller has to make payment through cash card and later, credit card payment facilities are likely to be added.

This service will start next month and a separate dedicated 3 or 4 digit number for which railway has apply with department of telecommunication . the detail of the number and payment will announce soon.

INDAIN RAILWAY MULTI TRAIN SEARCH

Indian railway does not have direct trains to lot of places. passengers does not know what link train he has to catch and from where. this particular information is not available in Indian railway official website, which is called multi train search.

Now you have a good news you have a website for this information

www.90di.com/travel

You can search multi trains also with duration and shortest time option. you have to type just the starting station and destination station and date of travel and you will get all the option in a new window with full detail of train and where to get down and what train you have to catch from there with train name, number and fare and seat availability, and you can sort by duration and departure,arrival time , fare and class of journey also. this is really a good website to search multi train options. you can search the flight and train option also in this website .
this site is in beta mode and they are working on it for more better interactive pages and you can search in Hindi and Kannada also. very soon they are going to add some more language .

If they put minimum layover time of 2 hours at link station it will be good as passenger want to keep at least 2 hours time in his hand if the train which he is travelling get late by 1 or 2 hours then he cannot catch the link train. any how you have the option to select the route and train as suitable to you.

we have one more website for multi train search this is also in beta mode but this website is having some problems with server and mostly their server is down and also does not updated the new trains which announced last year and they have not updated the train data. we hope that they will do this very soon
here is the link
www.indiagroove.com

IRCTC INDIAN RAILWAY ONLINE BOOKING

Lots of people do not know how to book a ticket online of Indian railways trains. Here are some help full tips and guide for booking a train ticket online. First you have to register yourself at http://www.irctc.co.in/ which is free and few seconds it takes. while filling the register form you must give office/residence address correctly as the ticket Will be delivered at the same address and you can choose the address while booking so you do not have to type the address again you can just choose the home or office address for ticket to be delivered. before log in to the page you keep your itinerary ready with you with the help of http://erail.in/ where you can search your train and number and seat availability on the particular day with station code which is very important.
you must have a id card and credit/debit or cash card to book your ticket online. Irctc server is very busy always so you have to fill the data very fast and get the ticket quickly. you should not refresh or click on the back page at any point at irctc web pages. if you do so you have to log in again and do all work again so never try to refresh and click on the back page in your browser.
follow this steps for a quick booking
keep handy the station code of from/to station
train number
date of journey
class of train (for example sleeper or 3 a/c)
boarding point (station code )
reservation up to point (station code)
the above steps you can do with the help of http://erail.in/now log in to http://www.irctc.co.in/ after log in you can see passenger travel list in left panel of the screen
now create a passenger travel list before going for booking
choose create new in the first column and then give a name to this list and give a description of the list ( remember no passenger name in this window) and then click on add passenger a new window will open and fill all detail of each passenger and click on add every time you fill detail of a passenger give detail of maximum 6 passenger in a list if you have more then 6 passenger then create one more list and then give the name of other passenger in the other list.
keep the id card (if you are choosing e.ticket) and credit/debit/cash card in hand
you will need credit/debit card number, expiry date of the card, the last 3 code of the card after the 16 digit number and name as in the card in some of the bank secure payment gateway and in some bank secure payment gateway they are asking your user and password also which has been provided by your bank and some bank also ask for the date of birth also some bank ask the secret question and answer you have fill in your bank data. so keep all this data handy to fill quickly. remember do not keep page open for long time if you do so it will show time out and you have to log in again and do all thing from start so be fast and keep everything with you . If you are booking from a public computer always give no whenever you have been asked to save the password in browser.
now you choose quick booking from the left panel and fill the data in the new open window and click on the quick book at the end of page.and a new window will show all the data which you filled with the all detail now click make payment .
A new window will ask you to choose the bank for payment choose your bank and fill the card detail as asked there and then click on make payment here you should not refresh or back click the page it may take 2 to 3 minutes also wait for the next window which will show detail of your transaction whether you ticket has been booked or not.
if it has been booked then it will show transaction id and pnr number and the passenger name and berth allotted and you can save this page or print the ticket . if the transaction is failed then also it will show the transaction number id if the payment has been credited from your card and it because of network problem your ticket has been not booked .
Now you can check with the booked history in left panel of the home page. some time the amount may credit from your a/c but the ticket have not been booked .if this happen your amount will again debit to your card within 24 hours and you will get the mail also with detail transaction id and time of debit of amount in your card.
you will get immediate email from irctc as soon as a transaction done you can check all detail in the mail.
so remember to give your original email while registering
try to book in the early morning or late night (IST time) when the load on the server will be minimum

I hope this information will be helpful for booking online ticket at irctc.