Tech track: Mobile wake-up calls, WiFi aboard trains #eGovWatch

Written by Shruti Srivastava | Shruti Srivastava | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 9 2014, 21:23pm hrs
Rail internetRailways will provide WiFi services in all A1- and A-category and other select trains.
Passengers will be able to book an entire coach or train online, or complete an office project on the move. Railway Minister Sadananda Godwa today announced a slew of IT-based initiatives among his proposals.

New technology will allow reservation of 7,200 tickets a minute, and 1.20 lakh simultaneous users. Railways will provide WiFi services in all A1- and A-category and other select trains. A mobile-based wake-up call and destination alert system for passengers will be started; trains and rolling stock will be tracked real time.

The Indian Express reported earlier that select trains will offer workstations for a payment. A pilot project will be launched this year.

The announcements are in line with the BJP manifesto, which had stressed IT-based governance. The minister announced the railways would become paperless in five years. The need of the hour is to bring in a total change in the work culture and delivery of railway services by going in for largescale integrated computerisation of major functions, he said.

The railways will start online booking of retiring rooms and set up food courts at stations while providing the option of ordering regional cuisine while onboard through emails, SMS and smart phones, etc. A pilot project will be started shortly between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections.

For safety, the railways will work on eliminating unmanned level crossings and introduce automatic closing of doors before a train starts.

Gowda also proposed digital reservation charts at stations; extension of computerised parcel management system; extension of logistic support to various e-commerce companies by providing designated pickup centres at identified stations and digitised, GIS-mapped records of the railways vast land assets.

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* Station navigation information system; extension of dual-display fare repeaters at all ticket counters

* Education to children of railway staff at remote locations through Railtel optical fibre cable network

* Coin-operated ticket machines

* Platform and unreserved tickets sale over Internet

* Parking-platform combo tickets

* Ticket booking through mobile phones and post offices