Indian Railways have provided numerous facilities to rail passengers including the following:-
(i) Online ticket booking facility through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website thereby obviating the need to stand in queues at reservation counters.
(ii) Reserved and unreserved ticket booking facility through mobile phones.
(iii) Provision of Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) at Railway stations for dispensation of tickets.
(iv) Installation of Point of Sale (POS) machines at various locations of Indian Railways for enabling cashless transactions.
(v) Earmarking of separate counters at various Computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) centres for dealing with the reservation requisitions received from physically challenged persons, senior citizens, ladies, Ex.MPs, MLAs, accredited press correspondents and freedom fighters.
(vi) Automatic preparation of reservation charts at least 4 hours before scheduled departure of train and thereafter booking of available accommodation through internet as well as through PRS counters.
(vii) Dissemination of information about change in passenger’s reservation status in the case of Waiting list/RAC to confirmed, cancellation of trains through SMS.
(viii) Cancellation of Computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter tickets through IRCTC website or through 139.
(ix) Automatic refund to e-ticket holders in case of cancellation of trains.
(x) Introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme ‘VIKALP’ to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and optimal utilisation of available accommodation.
(xi) Increase in number of berths earmarked as RAC to accommodate more passengers.
(xii) Enhancement of the existing combined quota earmarked for Senior Citizens, pregnant women and female passengers 45 years of age and above to 6 lower berths per coach in Sleeper, 3 lower berths per coach in 3AC and 3 lower berths per coach in 2AC class. Further, in Rajdhani, Duronto and fully Air Conditioned/ Express trains, the number of lower berths has been increased to 4 lower berths per coach.
(xiii) Introduction of Sarathi Seva to help old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at the station and strengthen the existing services for enabling passengers to book Battery Operated Card (BOC), porter services etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop and wheelchair services.
(xiv) Provision of Yatri Mitra Sewa at major stations for enabling passengers to book wheelchair services cum porter services.
(xv) Provision of cushioned seats in General Second class coaches, bottle holder and snack table in non-air conditioned Sleeper Class coaches, dustbins in Non-AC coaches, Braille signages in coaches, mugs with chain in Non-AC coaches, toilet in the newly manufactured DEMU/MEMU coaches, etc.
(xvi) Station-based e-catering services have been introduced and at present, available on 357 stations.
(xvii) 1100 Water Vending Machines have been installed at 345 stations for providing pure drinking water to travelling passengers.
(xviii) To mitigate the hardships faced by mothers while travelling with infants, Janani Sewa has been introduced to make available baby foods, hot milk and hot water.
However, strengthening/upgrading the existing passenger facilities and introduction of new facilities is a continuous and ongoing process.
This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 29.03.2017 (Wednesday).