Indian Railways has launched the revamped and upgraded version of the e-ticketing website www.irctc.co.in and IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App. Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal inaugurated the upgraded website and app today virtually.
In his address on the occasion, Goyal said, “The Railways is committed to serving the nation and is 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.”
He said that 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In 2014, the Next Generation E-ticketing (NGeT) system was launched to provide seamless e-ticketing services – higher booking loads and a better user interface – through IRCTC. The upgraded e-ticketing website and app will provide the next level of services and experience to the rail users.
The railway customer has been the focus of the design of this new world-class website for booking rail tickets. Novel user personalisation features linked to user login have been incorporated for the first time ever, along with customisations for seamless travel experience, one-stop train selection for booking and integrated booking for meals, and accommodation with tickets.
Some of the salient features of the upgraded website are as follows:
- Predictive entry suggestions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be given to the passenger when he/she is entering the station. This will reduce the hassle in searching for stations and also save time in ticket booking.
- Simpler checking of the refund status at the user accounts page. Earlier, this feature was not easily accessible.
- ‘Regular’ or ‘Favourite’ journeys can be booked easily by automatically entering relevant details.
- Train search and selection simplified by putting the information on one page to reduce the time used by passengers and enhancing the booking experience.
- All information on one page – availability for all classes are displayed, along with respective fares for all trains. Simply scroll the page and choose to ‘Book’ the desired train and class. Earlier, each train seat availability and fares could be seen only after clicking on that train individually.
- A ‘Cache system’ has been introduced in the backend to provide availability status. This will avoid delays in loading availabilities.
- Availability for other dates can be toggled on the page itself.
- Prompts during the booking process for making it easy for even less computer-familiar users.
- The journey details will be shown on the payment page, too. It will prompt the user to check and rectify if there are any typographical errors.
- The website has in-built features for enhancing cybersecurity by using appropriate captchas.
IRCTC and CRIS have been working to introduce ‘Smart Booking’ feature to book connecting trains on alternate routes between the pair of stations, which do not have direct trains.