Tuesday, March 9

Railways launch upgraded IRCTC website, call it a ‘New Year gift’ for travellers


Union railways minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday launched the revamped version of the e-ticketing website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The new website claims to have complete user personalization linked to the user login, such as the booking of meals, retiring rooms and hotels too have been integrated and can be directly booked along with the tickets.

The railway ministry pegged it as railways’ “New Year gift to passengers”.

“The Railways is committed to serving the nation, and constantly working to augment its services to further improve the rail travel experience. This upgraded e-ticketing platform for booking of online railway tickets, will enhance passenger convenience…IRCTC should continue to work towards constantly improving the website and ensure that it is second to none in the world as per the Digital India mission and vision of the Prime Minister,” Goyal said.

Predictive entry suggestions using Artificial Intelligence will be given to the passenger when he is entering the station. This will greatly reduce the hassle in searching for platforms and also save time in ticket booking, the railway ministry said.

The website will also have simpler checking of the refund status on the user accounts page. Earlier this feature was not easily accessible, the ministry said.

‘Regular’ or ‘Favourite’ journeys can be booked easily by automatically entering relevant details.

Train search selection has also been simplified by putting the information on one page to reduce the time used by passengers and enhancing the booking experience, the ministry said.

“The level of these features will be even more advanced than the ones offered currently by the other ticketing websites. In most websites, the station search entry is still alphabetical, availability status is either not there or old in time. Moreover, the convenience of integrated booking for stay & meal in this upgraded e-ticketing website is unmatched,” the ministry said.

At present, this e-ticketing website of IRCTC has more than 6 crore active users, using it to book more than 8 lakh tickets daily. Around 83% of the total reserved railway tickets are booked through this online system.

In the new website the availability for all classes will be displayed along with respective fares for all trains. In the earlier version each train seat availability and fares could be seen only after clicking on that train individually.

A ‘cache system’ has also been introduced in the backend to provide availability status. This will avoid delays in loading availabilities.

In case of waitlisted tickets, its ‘confirmation probability’ is displayed. To be clear, earlier this had to be checked for each waitlist status separately.

Availability for other dates can be toggled on the page itself.

The website has in-built features for enhancing cyber security by using appropriate captchas. It will also have prompts during the booking process for making it easy for those passengers who are not very familiar with computers. This will save their time too.

The journey details will be shown also on the payment page. It will prompt the user to check and rectify, if there are any typographical errors. These corrections can only be corrected by visiting PRS centre.