In a milestone measure undertaken by Ministry of Railways for the benefit of rail users, a comprehensive Indian Railway Web Portal with the URL http://www.indianrailways.gov.in has been launched with a view to consolidate all the services and information onto a single window web-interface for the public. This comprehensive omnibus single window web interface will be for the entire Rail User community of India whether they are Passenger Service, Freight Service or Parcel Service Customers.
At an impressive programme jointly organized by Eastern Railway and Kolkata Metro Railway yesterday at Kolkata, former Union Railway Minister and presently the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee launched this unique public friendly facility. Minister of State for Railways, Shri Mukul Roy was among those specially present on this occasion. The other activities inaugurated at this function included Automatic Fare Collection & Passenger Control System (AFC & PC) gates at all Kolkata Metro Stations.
Indian Railway Web Portal has following components:
1. Hosting the existing websites of Railway Board, all the Zonal Railways, Production Units onto the portal.
2. Creation of uniform Web address system of all the Railway Websites
3. Tracking facility for freight trains running and Parcels status by customers
4. Journey planner with user-friendly functionalities.
5. E-ticket functionality dedicated for normal passengers.
6. Facility to book retiring rooms for any station.
7. Mobile phone based ticket booking in which passenger need not print his/her ticket but carry the display ticket sent to his/her mobile phone through SMS.
8. Web and SMS based Complaints and Suggestions Management System for all Railway customers
The e-ticketing module of the Indian Railway Web Portal is expected be the most sought after facility by the normal passenger. The e-ticketing operations of IRCTC on its website shall also continue in parallel. In the additional facility of e-ticketing provided by IR Web Portal, no travel agents have been allowed so that normal passengers can have ease of booking during peak hours.
The Portal will broadly provide e-ticketing on the Internet (booking and cancellation) and e-ticketing on mobile phone (booking and cancellation).
Individual users choosing to use the e-ticketing facility shall be required to register himself/herself for the first time for this purpose after submitting the mandatory details and shall be provided a unique user ID. This registration will be free of charge. Thereafter he can avail the services of Booking and Cancellation of e-tickets. He can take a printout of the e-ticket which is known as Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS).
Individual users desirous of utilizing the facility of booking e-ticket on mobile phone ( which is being named as m-ticket), having requisite internet facility can do so by downloading the mobile ticketing application on the mobile phone from the IR Portal, using the URL sent in SMS. On completion of booking and payment formalities, a SMS containing the ticket details will be sent to user which is referred to as Mobile Reservation Message – (MRM). The cost of MRM from IR Web Portal shall be borne by Indian Railways. Such passengers need not require to carry a print out of the ticket and instead display the SMS (namely MRM). Similarly a Screen-shot of the e-ticket displayed through laptops/palmtops (referred as Virtual Reservation Message – VRM) will also be construed as e-ticket and such passenger also need not take a print out of the e-ticket and instead display the Screen-shot on their laptops/palmtops.
It is mandatory that at least one passenger booked on the e-ticket/m-ticket carry at least one of the following eight proofs of identity (in original ) :
Ø Voter Photo Identity Card issued by Election Commission of India.
Ø PAN Card issued by Income Tax Department.
Ø Driving License issued by RTO.
Ø Photo Identity card issued by Central/State Government.
Ø Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized school/college for their students.
Ø Nationalized Bank Passbook with photograph.
Ø Credit Cards issued by Banks with laminated photograph
ERS/MRM/VRM along with any one of the eight prescribed ID proofs in original and the indication of the passenger(s)’ name(s) in the Reservation Chart will entitle the passenger(s) to travel.
ERS/MRM/VRM along with one of the eight prescribed proofs of Identity in original will also authorize the passenger to enter the platform on the day of journey and he/she will not be required to purchase platform ticket. ERS/MRM along with original ID proof will be required to be produced on demand by Ticket Checking Staff on the platform.
The facility of booking e-tickets through IR Web Portal will be available from 00.30 hours to 23.30 hours daily. The booking for a particular train shall be permitted up to the time of preparation of reservation charts.
A maximum of eight PNRs per user ID per month shall be permissible. The passengers can book seats/berths on the e-ticket on the web portal against General quota/Tatkal quota/Ladies quota/Senior Citizen Quota. No concessions, except Senior Citizen concession, will be allowed on e-tickets. No Group Booking shall be permissible on e-ticketing through Indian Railway Web Portal.
The service charges levied by the Railways will be Rs. 5/- per ticket for Sleeper Class (SL) and Second Sitting (2S) classes and Rs. 10/- per ticket for all other Reserved Classes.
The detailed procedure of cancellation and refund has also been mentioned in the IR Web Portal.
The detailed commercial circular of Ministry of Railway on this introduction of e-ticketing and ticketing through mobile phone on IR Web Portal can be seen in http://www.indianrailways.gov.in