All-in-one railways to transform rail journeys

24 Oct 2016 | By Supriya Kaur

The railways ministry is considering launching an integrated mobile application for railway services that will potentially change the way Indians travel by train in India.

Under this all-in-one mobile application a train traveller will be able to order food, book cabs and other dozens of related services.

The railways ministry has held several rounds of discussions with multiple service providers for partnerships/alliances.

In context: Train travel in India to get a makeover

OverviewRevamping the railways

The Indian railways partnered with consultant and advisor, Ernst & Young (E&Y) to facilitate a massive revamp of railway services.

E&Y was roped in to help tap the advertising potential at railways stations and trains; the railways aims to earn Rs. 5000 crore over next few years from advertising-revenue.

A proposal for an integrated mobile application for railway-services has also been drafted by E&Y.

DetailsWhat services will railways mobile app include?

The multi-purpose railway application needs to be downloaded before the user can access a variety of ancillary travel services.

The railways ministry has been in discussions with radio-taxis to enable passengers to make travel arrangements to-and-fro from railway stations.

Other services expected to be included are pre-booked porters, tour packages, food order/delivery, car rentals, accessing digital entertainment, ordering bed-roll, lodging complaints and much more.

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Launch date

The application which has been envisaged as an "integrated mobile app ecosystem" by the railway ministry is expected to be launched on March 31, 2017.
Benefits to users and railways

HowBenefits to users and railways

The railways has a dozen alliances for digital services including, Ginger Hotel and however an official explains that "The business potential is much bigger."

Other railway web-services such as IRCTC, train enquiry, complaint management system are scattered across sites leading to confusion and making it inaccessible for passengers.

An integrated site/app would streamline process for travellers and offer new revenue-streams for railways.

24 Oct 2016All-in-one railways to transform rail journeys

Railways under severe financial stress

The railways incurred losses of Rs.33,000 crore for 2014-15. The public transport system expects to spend Rs.70,125 crore on salaries and Rs.23,010 crore on fuel. Failure to provide passenger-services leads to losses of Rs. 7 lakh/hour and railways is keen to stem loss of revenue.