Friday, December 11, 2009

Kudos to Indian Railways!

When I was a kid Indian Railways was a source for standup comedians and mimicry artist, to make fun of, due to their inefficiency. I have heard lot of jokes about Indian Railways as I was growing up. One of them that I remember now is something like this. A family arrives at a railway station and sees Kanyakumari-Jammu Tawi Himasagar Express (longest running train on the Indian Railways in terms of distance and time) in the platform. The kid tells his father that Himasagar Express has arrived at the station on time. Hearing that father corrects the kid that the train was supposed to arrive yesterday at the same time and is running late by 24 hours!

On my recent visit to Kerala I realized that no comedian is going to crack jokes on Indian Railways anymore. In four days I travelled three south Indian states in five different trains and I was so amazed by the performance of Indian Railways. I was travelling in a train after a gap of five years and I could really feel the difference.

Once I decided that I am going for a vacation to India I booked all the tickets I needed online. It took me less than 5 minutes to book tickets in all those five trains. Gone are the days we have to go and stand in the queue for hours to book a ticket. Gone are the days we have to get up at 4 am to get tickets in Tatkal scheme only to find out that no more tickets are available when your turn comes up. I am really impressed by the online reservation software of railways. I am not a software guy but I was thinking about the complexity of the software the Indian Railways may be using. The software has to take care of so many trains, so many stops, and so many different classes of ticket and still it does a great job.

Now the timings – I should say, I reached all the places on time. Never was a single train late. That was a really new experience for me. Since all the trains were interstate I thought at least one of the trains may run late. It seems like trains running late has become a thing of the past. I came to one station two hours early and saw all the long distance trains coming to that station on time.

There was a time when you need to wait for over 6 hours to catch a train to Ernakulam from Trivandrum. Now every hour there is some train from Trivandrum to Ernakulam. I was amazed by the increase in the number of trains running in Kerala. Now I don’t think anyone can really complain that Railways is neglecting the state.

What does this point to? If such a huge public sector organization like Indian Railways can deliver to the needs of the people so efficiently, each and every department of Indian government can change and help the people of our country if the people who lead them show the courage to lead them efficiently. Kudos to former Railway Ministers Mr Nitish Kumar and Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav and all the officials in making Indian Railways a great servant of Indian people. Hope Indian Railways will climb up ladders under the leadership of present Railway Minister Ms Mamta Banerjee.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Kiran KV said...

Yes .. In all fields our railway grown up... In the case of Trains, Timings, Special Trains to clear the extra rush of passengers during the holiday season etc....

Anyway .. nice post..

December 11, 2009 7:53 AM  
Blogger keralafarmer said...

The ticket rates are also so cheap than KSRTC from any station to the destination. You can see the increase in the number of coaches on important trains.
Ya if we have an account on any Bank with transaction rites it is so easy to reserve an online resetvation through it and the posibility of cancellation also available. One thing we have to do is to keep the printout of ticket by keeping an identity proof with us.
The performance of Indian Railway is a precious one.

December 11, 2009 9:52 AM  
Blogger scorpiogenius said...

Good post! It is always refreshing to read something of a positive note about our system.

I love the railways, and appreciate the way they function. But still there still remain a huuuuuge scope for improvement. ;)

I think Lalu's tenure as a Minister did rewrite the horoscope of IR. But Brijesh, the 6-hour wait for a Ekm-Tvm train you mentioned as period, still exist.. ;) After Venad/Janasatabdhi which leaves EKM at around 1730-1800 hrs, the next train to South is at midnight.

December 11, 2009 9:52 AM  
Blogger Pyari Singh K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2009 10:28 AM  
Blogger Pyari Singh K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2009 10:31 AM  
Blogger Pyari Singh K said...

I second that.

The travel time b/w Tvm and Clt also seem to have reduced drastically with the Janashadabdi express coming into picture.
This is a real boon to people like me.

December 11, 2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Ajith said...

brijesh , is it tht good? Last time i was trying to book during the onam season in 2008 from alleppey- calicut it was impossible to get tickets.....infact when my parents came bk they hd to stand in the queue for 1 hr to buy the ticket in kuttipuram station .When the train came it was full and they had to stand all the way till ernakulam !!!...i felt pity for the state. the train was a piece of junk which would hv been shunted out from some north indian state.........

December 12, 2009 3:00 AM  
Blogger subu.ps said...

It is one of the biggest railway networks in the world. To manage it efficiently requires some immense hardwork.
Even when the trains were running late, they should be applauded for their efficiency, because communication technology was not as good as it is now.
As always, it is easier to find faults rather than appreciate. A nice post which made the readers think about a service which almost every indian might have used.

December 15, 2009 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These videos will leave you proud of Indian Railways. Its from a series for the BBC - Monsoon Railway!
http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/monsoon+railways

December 17, 2009 8:28 PM  
Anonymous bhanu said...

Thanks for sharing the information, and if any one have any issue with Indian Railways (IRCTC) then he can registered their complaint with their customer care 011-23340000 Monday – Saturday (10 AM – 6 PM), and in case you are not satisfied with the customer care then send a written complaint to the MD of IRCTC.
You can also find some useful judgments related to Indian Railways at http://www.consumercourt.in/railways/14030-irctc-login.html

February 17, 2010 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Ramesh said...

Hi ,
Am really upset with IRCTC website as i had booked a ticket on this site for my native varanasi . But unfortunenatly i had to cancel my trip due to unexpected reasons . I found that i had forgot my password and was unable to login and here started by quest to cancel the ticket.
I first wrote an email to IRCTC website and then logged a complaint at http://theindustrymeasure.com/2011/05/24/irctc-login/ . But there was response to my email and complaint and since the day of travel was nearing i was tensed as the amount was large as the tickets were 1st AC . Then i was told by my friend that IRCTC operates the call center and i tried to call them to no avail and after finally reaching the number i was faced with a rude agent who was not upto the mark in english and was mixing Hindi and English and also not understanding what i was saying . Finally he said that you need to call back as the system is slow .. After 3 more tries i got my tickets cancelled but it was a tense moment for me. I hope someone from IRCTC is listening ...Please fix this asap.

May 29, 2011 5:47 AM  

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