With lakhs of calls choking the existing passenger information network, Railways have firmed up plans to launch a new call centre number -- 138 -- for those seeking additional information.
At present, the 139 service receives seven lakh calls per day, providing round-the-clock information about PNR status, arrival/departure of trains, seat availability, fares and accommodation.
"With the launch of 138, passengers can also ask for information like train routes and schedules at different stations," managing director of IRCTC Rakesh Tandon told PTI.
Information on some of the premium services launched by Railways in recent past can also be collected from this number, he said.
However, since it would provide a "special" service, callers would have to shell out some more money, he said.
Calls made to 139 are charged locally.
Tandon said Railways have already approached the Department of Telecommunication to book the new number and expressed hope to provide the new service before October this year.
The latest move of Railways comes close on the heels of the PSU starting several premium and innovative services such as hiring a taxi over phone and booking rooms in hotels.
Plans are also afoot to help passengers order foods of their choice by dialing 139 before embarking on a train journey. It is set to start shortly.
Similarly, orders can also be placed at the reservation counters while booking tickets, Tandon said.
He said passengers would soon be served food on trolleys in some of the Rajdhani trains. At present, passengers of Amritsar Shatabdi are 'pampered' with such a service.
He said IRCTC has reintroduced items such as soup, soup sticks, curd, 'Frootie' and cutlets in its menu.
New items like green vegetables would also be a new addition soon, Tandon said, adding that local dishes are also being offered to passengers.
Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, shortly after assuming office, had instructed the Railway Board to improve quality of food served onbaord trains.