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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

‘Faulty’ rail enquiry system leaves passengers fuming

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 19, 2013
First Published: 01:08 IST(19/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:09 IST(19/2/2013)

A crippled railway enquiry system is tormenting thousands of passengers every day. You may buy a ticket for a particular station, but the ‘139’ helpline service may still tell you that your train does not stop there.

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Talking to railways’ customer care representatives may not help either as they are only likely to repeat what the interactive voice response system (IVRS) has to say.

Even the much-hyped website, www.trainenquiry.com, is of no help in such cases. 

“I boarded 22406 Anand Vihar-Bhagalpur Garib Rath on February 8. I had to get down at Dumraon in Bihar. The next morning, I called ‘139’ to know when the train will reach Dumraon. The IVRS said this train did not stop at Dumraon,” said a harried passenger. 

“I selected 06323 which is the STD code for Dumraon. The answer was: ‘The detail is invalid.’ When I selected 06183, which is the STD code for the nearest station - Buxar. The response was: This train does not run on the given date,” he said.

He said www.trainenquiry.com also showed Dumraon in the schedule category, but in the running information section, the station was not there.

Another passenger who faced a similar problem while travelling said, “I spoke to a customer care representative. I gave him my PNR number. He said the ticket is for my station. When I asked when the train would reach there, he did some search and said the station is not on the route.”

When the passenger asked why was he then given a ticket to a station, when the train did not go there, the representative said he did not sell tickets. 

“He said I should speak to the station concerned. And how on earth am I supposed to have numbers of various stations when I am travelling,” the passenger asked.

Even as the two passengers braced themselves to get down at unknown stations, fortunately, both trains did stop at the stations the tickets had been bought for.

A passenger who had recently bought a ticket for the Patna-Anand Vihar (02393) Puja Special train was left in a helpless situation, as the train departed 12 hours late and he had to spend hours in the cold at the station, thanks to a defunct enquiry system.


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