Check CR local status online in a month

Central Railway commuters will be able to track real-time location of trains across the suburban network on a dedicated website——or the pan-India train inquiry number 139 within a month. The information will help commuters alter their travel plans if there is a delay in or cancellation of a preferred service.

The project, which is nearing completion, will come as a relief to lakhs of CR commuters. The CR suburban network operates around 1,618 services per day on all its three lines—main, harbour as well as trans-harbour.

Commuters will not just be able to track a train’s exact location but also the preceding and following two stations.

It is the Control Office Application (COA) that currently monitors the movement of long-distance trains across the country in real time through a computer-aided interface. It was developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS)—the information technology arm of Indian Railways. The COA enables passengers to track the movement of both scheduled and unscheduled trains on the website or on 139.

CR divisional general manager Mukesh Nigam said, “Till now, one can only track the movement of long-distance trains because the suburban network is not completely integrated with the COA.”

Nigam further said he was keen on this integration to capitalize on the use of mobile phones. Moreover, in a busy city such as Mumbai, commuters would benefit from updated information on trains, he said.

The suburban network is a challenging task, Nigam said, as certain stretches run on four corridors while long-distance trains operate on two. The average frequency of services on the main line is f our minutes and harbour line five minutes.

Spot your train with ease

Train-tracking has become easier than ever before with all trains, except those running on the Mumbai suburban network, being covered live by the web-based service of the Indian Railways. It has now taken on a new map-based dimension with the addition of

At any point in time, information can be had online or via SMS about the location and schedule of the 9,700-odd trains that run a given week. And what is more fascinating is that the location of any train, except those in the Konkan railway belt, can now be seen on a map anytime — represented by a colour-coded arrow that indicates whether a train is running on time or late.

Though the enquiry service has been working for some years and providing information on select trains, it has become comprehensive in its new avatar launched last April. A mobile version was released in May; and just a few weeks ago came the map-based RailRadar add-on.

The site had witnessed no less than a crore visitors in the few months it was launched. And every day, on an average, more than 3.5 lakh users flocked to the and RailRadar websites, 20 per cent of whom used mobile devices to get information, said Manish Rathi, co-founder of Railyatri, which is involved in the operation of the site set up by the Centre For Railway Information Systems.

The appeal of the service lies in the ease of use. By entering some details in a search box — a train’s name or number or the names of stations — the user is presented with a list that can be narrowed down to a specific option.

By clicking on the train name displayed, the user can know where it is — whether it has halted at a station or is approaching one, the timings, the other stations en-route, the distances, and so on. Also the stations it has passed through and when, and the distance already traversed. It also tells us whether a train is running on schedule or is late at a point in time. (For getting the information via SMS, type SPOT (train number) and send the message to 139).

With RailRadar, passengers can now spot trains on a map by clicking on the blue (on time), yellow (delayed) or red (delayed by more than 15 minutes) arrows that represent individual trains, and know where it is at the moment. By clicking further, one can find out when it will arrive at different stations ahead of it and the time it passed the last few stations en route. In a nutshell, almost real-time (time lags of a few minutes are part of the system though) schedules of a train can be had by clicking on a map.

“Response to RailRadar has been tremendous — not just in India but worldwide. In the first week of its launch, RailRadar was noted as the top talked about map-based application across the world. While there are few additional countries where railways are tracked on a map, reviewers of this site have acknowledged that this has to be the biggest one just based on its sheer size and complexity,” Mr. Rathi said.

Indian Railways allows users to track train info real-time

Railways have just launched online application RailRadar, where one can find the exact geographical location of about 6,500 trains on a Google map on real time basis.

The system enables a colour code method as trains highlighted in blue indicate those that are running on time while the red markers indicate the trains that are delayed or behind schedule.

Railways operate more than 10,000 trains everyday but currently the RailRadar can spot about 6500 trains, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.

He said if you click on a particular train, the map will show the exact route of the train including all the stoppages and the current location of the train on the real time basis.

RailRadar can be accessed throughout the railway website –

The official said to know the current running status of the train, one can either enter the name of the train, or the train number if you remember it, and the system will tell you whether that particular train is delayed or running on time.

One can also see all the trains which are arriving at the station or have just departed with the name of the station.

We have launched the RailRadar on a pilot basis and later on it will be a permanent feature, the official said.

The new website has many new features which will not only provide the running status of trains but will also help you track the exact location of trains across the country.

Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Railways’ online tracking site now to have info of all trains

Expanding its facility, Railways have included all trains under its online train tracking service,, providing updated information about their movements.

According to a statement issued today, train running information can also be sources by sending SMS to 139. All that one has to do is type ‘SPOT’ and send it to 139.

The development comes in the wake of real-time train tracking system SIMRAN (Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation) developed by IIT-Kanpur shutting down operations recently.

The agreement between Railways and IIT-Kanpur has come to an end for running the project on September 30, sources in the Railways said.

While SIMRAN provided information of only 36 selected Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, the statement said, information on all these trains would be available on ‘’.

SIMRAN was launched by the then Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi as a pilot project in October last year.

Railways gets on the info track

Guess which train generates the maximum enquiries over the Indian Railways’ information portals?

No, it’s not the Rajdhani or a very long distance train. It’s the Magadh Express, plying between Delhi and Patna.

So why does this particular train get so many queries?

When this question was posed to passengers over Facebook, the simple answer was “because it always runs late”!

Within a short time of going live, Railways site, and, operated by Stelling Technologies for the National Train Enquiry System (NTES), have managed to dig out some rich customer insights. As Mr Sunil Bajpai, Group General Manager, Centre for Railway Information System, (CRIS) points out, some of these insights could help the Railways build some value-added services on their portals that will be useful to passengers.

Around 9,000 trains run daily on the vast Indian Railways network. Minute by minute, kilometre by kilometre, running information on these as well as operations data from 6,000 railway stations filters into the CRIS office daily.

But till recently this huge volume of data was not getting transferred to the customer. Now, some of it is getting mined and being put “in real time” on as well as, and available to users online as well as over mobile phones. “We also plan to open the API (Application programming Interface) in such a way that third party service providers can source this information and provide it as well,” says Mr Bajpai.

Already, over and, passengers can find out the exact spot a train is at any given point. Going forward, useful information such as which platform it will chug into and perhaps even the exact spot on the platform a particular coach will halt at could be shared.

And all this without typing the train number (a major pain point for passengers trying to buy tickets on railway portals) but simply the name. “We found that most people disliked remembering numbers so have made searches easier by name,” says Mr Manish Rathi, CEO, Stelling Technologies, the tech company that powers According to Mr Bajpai, the number of daily visitors on the train enquiry site is already running into lakhs. “And this is only ten per cent of the total traffic that comes to the Railway Web sites.”

Mr Rathi says the information exchange could facilitate value-added services such as cab rentals for passengers. The data mining in real time could even help alert Railways when something untoward happens. As Mr Rathi points out, based on the information flow on they can reliably say the recent Hubli-Bangalore-Hampi Express accident in Andhra Pradesh happened between 3.00 a.m. and 3.05 a.m. “We get information feeds on a train every five kilometres it traverses, which is every five minutes, and the feed stopped at 3.00 a.m.,” he says.