Railway bookings in western India came to a standstill for nearly two hours at four major zones of Central, Western West Central and Konkan Railway.
Almost 239 locations were hit on Wednesday afternoon, after Railway’s Passenger Reservation (PRS) system computers crashed.
The crash inconvenienced thousands of commuters, as no long-distance railway tickets could be reserved, booked or cancelled during the period.
Shailendra Kumar, chief commercial manager (passenger marketing), Central Railway, who is responsible for PRS maintenance, confirmed the incident.
“There was some problem and the queue went on increasing. The staff told us that there was a computer problem which they could not rectify it for over two hours,” Dinesh Kumar, who had come to book a ticket for Godan Express, between Allahabad and Gorakhpur at the new Dadar PRS centre said.
“There was some hardware problem at one of the centres, which led to the system crash. The system collapsed at 11.40 am in the entire region and was restored by 1.33 pm. No bookings, cancellations or charting of trains could be done due to the crash,” a senior railway official said.
The On-line Passenger Reservation System called countrywide network for Computerised Enhanced Reservation and Ticketing (CONCERT) maintains the networking of PRS.
CONCERT developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Railways, is the IT wing of the Indian Railways with state-of-the-art infrastructure at New Delhi. Currently, the PRS operates from five regional centres — Secunderabad in September 1994, New Delhi in September 1996, Kolkata in June 1998, Mumbai in January 1999 and at Chennai in April 1999.
“All of the five sites have been internet-worked over a 64 kbps line using routers, on leased communication line connections from Department of Telecom (DOT). The PRS network enables reservations in any train, date, or class, between any pair of stations to the public on about 2,000 terminals across the country,” a railway official said.