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SMS-based railway enquiry in Mumbai

The Western Railway is set to start an SMS-based enquiry system for Mumbai?s local trains, reports Rajendra Aklekar.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2007 21:29 IST

You won’t have to go to the railway station and wait for your 9:12 Churchgate-fast if its late. You can simply send an SMS and make a query whether the train is on right time or running behind schedule. The Western Railway on Saturday finalised plans and invited proposals to start an SMS-based enquiry system for Mumbai’s local trains.

"Yes, we are installing and commissioning SMS-based enquiry system for suburban trains. It should be ready within three months for local trains. We are also working on a similar project for outstation and mail-express trains like Rajdhani etc that operate in our zone, but it would take some time. The local train project, however, should be ready very early," WR’s Mumbai boss, divisional railway manager Satya Prakash told Hindustan Times.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) last year launched a project where passengers could buy suburban train season tickets online by sitting in their homes and getting them home-delivered. As far as mobiles are concerned, railway sources said at present you can book your long-distance railway tickets via mobile phones.

The IRCTC has been using software for the past few years that enables a passenger to book your railway ticket by sending just two SMSs. The user needs to be registered with their website and mobile banking services. The entire process of "book ticket" can be done through two SMS messages, using IRCTC’s short code 7245.

PNR status enquiries can also be made on mobiles. Subscribers have to register for this service by sending an SMS to 7245 with short code "PNR" followed by a space and the 10 digit PNR number. Mumbai suburban train inquiries is the latest in the line.

How will it work

·There will be a dedicated short number
·One can send an SMS to that number and ask whether trains are running late
·One can send an SMS and also ask about details of a particular train
·Once the SMS is received, one will get a feedback in one-two minutes with a detailed answer.
·The railways are yet to decide on a number, but it will be universal for all mobile networks. The project will be completed within three months time.
·The charges for this service would be as fixed by the mobile operators.

First Published: Jan 07, 2007 21:29 IST