Keeping up with the social distancing norms, the Indian railways is moving towards contactless ticketing. The railways will have tickets with QR codes, which will be scanned on handheld devices and mobile phones at various stations and aboard trains. Already 85 percent of train tickets are booked online and the QR code scanning is expected to help further.
QR Code For Contactless Ticketing
The Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said in a press meet that the QR code system will be given on tickets. “If one buys online, the code will be provided on the ticket. Even on window tickets, where one gets a physical ticket, a text message will be sent to the passenger’s mobile phone, which will have a link, and the QR code will be displayed when the link is touched,” he explained.
Next, when TTEs at various stations or on trains can scan the code via the hand-held equipment or through their mobile phones. This makes the entire ticketing system contactless. At the same time, the railways will not go completely paperless either, but the new initiative will reduce its use by facilitating online booking of reserved, unreserved, and platform tickets.
Furthermore, the onboard ticket-checking staff also gets information on passengers via the hand-held machines. This includes a coach-wise display with the number of berths, unbooked berths, and the number of boarding passes, which further helps the line staff.
IRCTC Website Updated
To bring in the new ticketing system, the IRCTC website has also been updated, Yadav said. The process to book tickets is further simplified and personalized with integrated hotel and meal bookings. Adding to this, the website now also includes a geo-portal and developed platform for its assets like tracks, signaling, OHE, and so on.
ISRO Extends Help To Railways
Adding to the list of new initiatives, the Indian railways has also signed an MoU with ISRO for satellite-tracking of trains and get its real-time data like speed and location. This further helps provide accurate information to waiting passengers about the arrival and departure of the trains. Nearly 2,700 electric locomotives and 3,800 functional diesel locomotives are already embedded with GPS devices.
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