In an attempt to improve its services, Indian Railways has partnered with MakeMyTrip to provide live status updates of the trains through WhatsApp, which is currently the most popular instant messaging platform. Passengers can receive updates on the train schedule, the status of the reservation, cancellation, the number of the platform on which the train will arrive, by sending a request through WhatsApp. This will alleviate the dependence of people to call 139 to get the status of the train. This is one of the many initiatives undertaken by Indian Railways to improve the travel experience of customers.
To take advantage of this installation, passengers must save the number 7349389104 (through MakeMyTrip) on their mobile phones. When an update is required, they must send a specific train number in the aforementioned number via WhatsApp, and they will be provided with the details of the respective train. If the server is not busy, one can expect to get an answer within 10 seconds of the request being made. However, passengers should keep in mind that their train number will not reach the server until they see two blue marks in the WhatsApp text, indicating that the message was delivered successfully.
In the recent past, the Railways had modernized its official website to make its services more accessible. The changes include:
a) An easy-to-use web interface.
b) Train search without logging into the website.
c) Details on availability of trains, departures and arrivals available on the home page.
d) Option to change the font size of the website for a comfortable viewing experience.
e) Prediction characteristic of the waiting list through which users can determine the probability of a ticket being confirmed on the waiting list or RAC (reservation against cancellation).
f) Technological advances in the new user interface (UI) that facilitates smooth navigation through the website on mobile devices, desktop computers, laptops and tablets.
In addition, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, launched a new facility to improve the on-board catering service offered by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Now, trains that have pantries will have an IRCTC manager to address food-related complaints. The manager would handle the complaints even when the train is in progress. For this, a dedicated position or seat has been reserved for the IRCTC manager. The manager would inform the ‘Captain of the Train’ at the railway station from where the train originates. He will carry a valid authority letter and proof of identification.
In addition, the Railways retraced the schedule of around 200 trains to address the problems of train delays, which is an annoying experience for most passengers. While in the year 2015-2016 there was a punctuality of 77.4% in the trains, in subsequent years there was a decrease in that figure with 76.69% in 2016-17, and a 71.39 % in 2017-18.