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Posts Tagged ‘Indian Railways’

Steam Trains in India

January 9th, 2011 Comments off

Indian Railways started their journey way back in 1853, the distance was short but the milestone wasn’t. From there on when we started on Steam power and now that we run on electric power lot of things have changed. Indian railways have grown into a massive organization, and now are reported to be the 4th largest unit in the world and largest employer of people in the world. Beyond this the services, the facilities have changed a lot without much compromise in the fares of the travel. However much it has grown, there are some things which have remained and has is being considered as a heritage site and one of those are the steam engines for certain routes. Let’s have a look at the trains which run on steam engines in India.

A steam locomotive is nothing but an engine which is propelled by steam power, when Indian railways started off most of the trains ran on steam engine. It is later in the last century that we transitioned to better means of engines. However we still have a few trains running on Steam power and they are:-

Steam Trains in India Fairy Queen: The fairy train is a luxury train and runs on steam power. The train is one of the few which runs on the basis of other luxury trains; it starts only in the month of October and runs till April only. It covers Delhi, Alwar and the national sanctuary Sariska. The duration is short and the whole journey finishes off in a day and half. The train runs only within the stipulated month and runs only on second and fourth Saturday of every month.

Nilgiris Mountain Railways: A part of the Mountain railways Zone in India, the most of the trains that ply on these Nilgiris hills run on steam engine. There were plans of modernization in this route and it was supposed to convert into electric trains but however; UNESCO took this as a heritage site and since then there have been only Steam engine travels for this part of railways. The route covers the distance of between Mettupalayam and Ooty. Quiet a lot of Indian movies have been shot on this route, it is a very picturesque route and one of the best tourist spots in Southern India for the summers.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways: This route is also a part of the Mountains railway zone and most of the trains that run on these routes are also using steam engines. Steam Engines add to the tourist attraction and most of the routes are meant for tourist promotion. In this route one can actually view the Kanchenjunga peak, the tallest peak in the Himalayan range in India. The trains plying on these routes are called as special Tourism trains as one of the tasks of these trains are to promote tourism.

The major task of all the tourist steam engine trains is to promote tourism and attract more people. The ticket booking of these trains are done using the normal IRCTC site and needs to booked in advance to avoid the rush of tourists.

Indian Railways, Cheapest Mode of Transport

January 8th, 2011 Comments off

Travelling is interesting, and will always be. Someone has rightly said that it is not the destination that is important; it is the journey that is more pleasurable. Indian railways are slowly and steadily turning out to be the lifeline of India, the fastest and the cheapest mode of communications. With increased services and facilities, railways have been scoring big time on the list of people.

One of the surveys conducted recently states that the maximum travel plans that happen in India are generally done through the Indian railways. Travelling by Indian railways has relatively become an easier job with the advent in the technology; you can sit in the luxuries of your house and gather all the information that is required for travelling.

Fares

Indian Railways – Cheapest Mode of Transport Traveling by Indian railways is considered the best because it provides us the cheapest form of transport. Look at the Mumbai Suburban trains itself, a journey which travelled by roadways could cost us way beyond 100 rupees will cost only 4 on the local trains; one can’t get anything cheaper than this. But still the railways are continuously striving to keep the cost reduced while the travelling.

The burden on people is distributed as quite a bit of the revenue for Indian railways comes through freight charges also. Over the years, the inflation has sky rocketed but the cost of the traveling by Indian railways has not undergone any big change.

In fact the Ministry of railways has come up with a lot of schemes like the Duronto’s and Garib Raths. The Duronto has made life easier for people who wish to travel between two important stations, these are nonstop trains and cost almost as that of a normal train. Secondly the Garib Raths, these are completely air conditioned trains that cost just half of the cost of a normal 3rd tier AC. Also the list of people those are eligible for discounts are on the rise completely.

For example, a senior citizen, a doctor, defense personnel, sports personnel, youth discounts, an unemployed person travelling for interview etc. There are concessions on fares for lot of things. With all these facilities and with the upgrade in the services, the other modes of transport are seriously facing a big time competition with the Indian railways.

Now that Indian railways have opened to portals to private operators like Makemytrip and cleartrip site, there are discounts available on that site too. The cost can reduce here in some cases, making the tickets cheaper than ever.

In railways the cheapest form of tickets comes in the form of normal chair class tickets. The normal 3 tier sleepers are costlier than the chair class and then the 3rd Ac, 2nd Ac and 1st AC in that order. Not many trains have 1st AC and 2nd AC. And now with the introduction of technology in railways checking of the fares at the luxuries of our house, this has become more comfortable. Travelling by Indian railways is very charming experience and with the fares not being hit by inflation it all the more has become alluring to travel in Indian railways.

Southern Railways: A Railway Initiative

January 6th, 2011 Comments off

We all have got our history lesson correct and we all know that the train services in India started almost 150 year ago. The distance travelled was between Thane to Mumbai, now when you look at the way the Railways has grown, you can only sit and marvel at this wonder. In 150 years, Indian railways have become the 4th largest network in the whole world. Imagine the reach of Indian railways. Not all that, there has been different zones that has been initiated in the railways itself and one of them being the Southern railways. Let’s read a little in detail about this zone of railways.

Origin of Southern Railway Zone.

Southern Railways If you look at the history of railways you will realize that, the Southern zone is one of the oldest networks started by the Indian railways after the formation of Independent India. This was initiated almost 6 decades back in 1951. This was created by merging three state run railways namely the Mysore state Railway, Madras and Southern Maharatta railway and the South Indian railway. All of these railways were functional during the British colonial times. Currently the headquarters of the Southern railways are in Chennai and it has 6 divisions under it. The divisions are Palakkad and Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala, Tirichirapalli, Chennai, Madurai and Salem in Tamil Nadu. Close to 500 million people use this route extensively. The uniqueness about this zone is that unlike most zones where the revenue is incurred maximum because of freight, here it is the travelling of people which rakes in the mullahs. The most profitable division under the Southern Railway zone are Chennai and Thiruvanthapuram, they get the maximum revenue.

The southern railways cater to the southern states and has a lot of development in terms of infrastructure, the facilities provided, the comfort provided. The profitable routes plying on the southern railways are Coimbatore to Thrissur to Ernakulam to Thiruvanthapuram, Chennai to Arrakonam to Katpadi to Salem to Erode to Coimbatore and Chennai to Villupuram to Tirichirapalli to Dindigul to Madurai to Tirunelveli to Nagercoil. This train extensively cover the most populated areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and hence the popularity of these Zones. There are lot of Other zones inclusive of the Southern Zones that ply to the four south Indian states. The southern railways comprises of two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Some of the stations in the southern railways can be easily termed as a heritage site, because they were made so earlier. Like for instance the Chennai Egmore station, was constructed way back in 1908 it still stands tall. On an average, according to the latest statistics from the southern railways, this zone accounts to nearly 10% of the total people travelling in the country and considering there are more than ten zones, this is definitely a huge number. Along with the railway facilities, they are very keen on developing this place as a tourist hub hence lot of constructive activities have been happening on that front too.

Steam Engines in India

January 6th, 2011 Comments off

Indian Railways started its journey in 1853, and it covered a short distance between Mumbai to Thane. That was almost 150 years ago, since then there has been turning back for the fourth largest network in the world – The Indian Railways. The railways started their journey on Steam engines and there are still some routes that are done with the help of steam engines. These engines have a charm of their own and proving to be good as a heritage prospect. The number of journeys in Steam engines is dwindling currently, but the ones that are still on makes the journey a perfectly pleasant ride and a memorable one indeed.

Steam Engines rides in India

Steam Engines in India As said earlier, steam engines are the beginning of a railway dream in India but there are few of the routes that still ply using steam engines, especially the usage of steam engines in mountainous terrains is well know . Apart from that steam engines are used in few of the luxury trains too. Steam engines are basically trains which run on the power of steam. These engines are generally propelled with the usage of coal, wood or oil. In India, however the maximum used fuel has been coal. When you decide to take a holiday and one of the agenda’s include travelling using a steam engine, in that case you should try and make it to the Mountains be the Himalayas or a smaller hills like the Nilgiris. Steam engines are extensively used there.

One of the steam engine that runs in India is Darjeeling mail to New Jalgaipuri. In this range and the foothills of Himalayas you will find a lot of steam engines plying on. En route to this place one can actually see the highest peak of India in the Himalayan Range “The Kanchenjunga”. A great landscape follows through the route and a photographer’s delight is what we get in this. Apart from Steam engines in this route there are few in and around Simla too, one of them being the Simla Mountain railway. Most of the trains that run on steam engines are generally plied on the Himalayan range. The trains that run through using steam engines are ideally called as Special tourism trains. They are majorly used for promoting tourism and especially in picturesque location will always give tourism the boost.

The Indian railways website namely www.indianrail.gov.in would have details of all the trains that are plying using the steam engine. These are called as special tourist trains, and you can find the list of trains under the type of trains -> Special tourist trains. There are close to 4 trains that run on the mountainous range of Himalayas and they are from Kalka to Simla and back, Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri and back, Darjeeling to Kurseong and back. Apart from that we also have joyrides that run on a daily basis in Darjeeling. The distance and both the time taken are less as hence it is thoroughly enjoyed by the tourists.

Steam engines are almost turning into a Joy ride especially in the hilly region.

Indian Railways, Seat Availability

January 4th, 2011 Comments off

We have all travelled using Indian railways on different occasions. However what impresses us it that over the years railways have changed a lot. They have become a lot customer oriented, their services are upgraded and they strive to do things so that they can remain in the competition. But however; due to its reach, Indian railways still own the monopoly of being the network used by most of the Indians for travel. Railways has made everything convenient for us now, including the two websites that the offer namely the www.indiangov.rail.co.in and www.irctc.co.in.

The Websites

Indian Railways – Seat Availability One of the major tasks involved is getting the tickets done. Most of us, if travelling for the first to a particular place using the Indian railways, would not know the trains available, the seat availability in it and for that matter even the fare details. You can get information about these things on a single site namely the www.indiangov.rail.co.in. This site has been a introduced more than a decade back and has been the backbone of increasing number of tech savvy people in the country. This site provides a comprehensive list of the details that you are looking for with reference to the railways.

To check seat availability.

To go anywhere the first thing you require is to check whether the seats are available for the train where you are likely to commence your journey from. For this all you need to do is go to the Indian railways site namely www.indiangov.rail.co.in , click on the quick link that for seat availability. On clicking on that a page displays which will show you the details of train number, the journey date and the start and the destination station codes. You will also need to fill in the details of which class of tickets you are looking for along with the quota, once all the information are put up check on click availability. This can be continued for different dates and different class. However; in case one isn’t aware of the station code and the train number, one can click on the check station codes below. There you can fill the to and from destination, the date and also specify the time you are looking for to go. Once the details are typed, including the time preference a list of trains appear on the screen. All that needs to done here is click on the trains which is most suitable and most comfortable for the traveler and get the seats available for the train. In case if there are no seats available for this train, this exercise can be repeated with some other train.

Once the train and other travel plans and the seat availability is looked after you can proceed to the irctc site to get the bookings done for the particular train. In the Indian railways main page itself on quick links, you will find Internet reservation; this site will directly take you to www.irctc.co.in.

Ticket booking and checking for seats was never so easier and that too sitting in the luxuries of our house.

Indian Railway Site – Indian Railways.gov.in

January 1st, 2011 Comments off

Remember, how a decade and half ago, when the holiday season stuck, people used to form queues and get their reservation done. And many a times they had to return disappointed as the tickets for that would already be booked or be wait listed. Well there are still people in villages and remote areas who still follow the same procedure. But places where the use of technology is available people sit in their homes, open the Indian railways site and check all the details that they are required to know. And this section of the people is steadily growing on an astounding rate.

The website

Indian Railway Site The minute the internet revolution started in India, the railways got their act correctly and build up, on what can easily be described as the Bible of Indian railways. This site probably gives information on every single thing that you want to know about Indian railways. In fact according to the statistics the Indian railway site www.indianrailways.gov.in is one of the most visited and used site for booking of tickets and checking of other travel plans.

Services

As said earlier, this site gives us a comprehensive listing of all the trains, the type of trains, fare details and the route taken. Some of the services supported by this site are the details of ticket availability at 100 most important stations. It also gives the train schedule for people who are interested in this information. Tatkal information is also one of the services provided by the website, where in you get complete details of the charges expected and what are the conditions of traveling Tatkal. Apart from these it also provides us with information on SMS services and availability of birth in trains.

Information

Apart from services, they also provide information on the status of train running as in whether it is running behind schedule or on time. Information of trains based on the types namely Rajdhani, the express trains, the mail trains, the Duronto’s and the Garib Rath. In case if you are booking a ticket and you aren’t aware of the station code, you will get a whole list stating the same on the website. More information is provided on the sites about the trains and of other websites which belong to the railways itself. These are few of the contents / Service and information that are provided on the railways website, however; the real use of the site is for the quick links it provides.

Quick links

One of the most important details of this railway website is the checking of PNR status. The maximum hit the site gains are because of this link. Key in your PNR number and you get the status of your tickets. Apart from that it also provides quick links on the different trains available between stations, all you need is type in the station code and the list of trains are ready. It also provides quick links on availability status and fare details. And in case if you need to do an internet reservation, the link takes you straight to IRCTC site.

So in short, your complete travel plan can be done using this site.

Indian Railway Online Reservation, Irctc Online Reservation, Railway Booking Online

June 28th, 2009 Comments off

Indian Railway provides the facility of the online railway reservation where in reservation seeking passengers can reserve the tickets online over the internet.  Passengers require the computer with internet access as well as mode of online payment to reserve the tickets. This has made life easy and comfortable for the passengers as they can get their reservation done from the comfort of their home. It’s a great relief for those who do not have time to stand in the long queue at the railway counters.

Indian Railway Online ReservationIn order to reserve the tickets online, passengers need to visit the following website of the Indian Railways Online reservation.  http://www.irctc.co.in.   It is hugely popularized website that not only offers the facility for online reservation of tickets but also, provides the plethora of information regarding the railways for the passengers.

Passengers can now enquire the status of a wait listed ticket, enquire about the details of trains like its route, originating and destination stations, its class, its fare in various classes, etc., details regarding the train time table and the availability status live at that particular moment.  One can get all these benefits by using online internet railways reservation website.

Online reservation is regarded as the easiest and trustworthy mode of reserving tickets. All one require is access to a computer with internet connection and should have an online mode of making payment like a debit or a credit card. There is a list of banks cited on the page of IRCTC website.  If passenger has bank account that is listed on railway website then the payment is made instantly using the debit or credit card.

Online reservation website registers at least a million hits every day. It provides lots of user friendly features.  There are agents available who does the job of reserving the tickets online. If one does not have a access to computer with net connection or online mode of payment like debit card/credit card, then one can approach these agents who will book the ticket by charging nominal fees from the passengers.

Indian Railway Online ReservationSify Iway cyber cafés provides such facility of reserving the ticket by making cash payment. State Bank of India offers the railway card which is a useful for reserving the tickets. Similar to SBI, Federal Bank and IRCTC have collaborated with each other to offer the service of online railway ticket booking using the Fed Net principle. One can get the tickets delivered for free at home and the reservation charges are debited directly from the Federal Bank Account.

Shubh Yatra is a feature provided to the persons travelling by d AC 2nd Class and above and who uses railway frequently.

Refund Rules – Indian Railways Refund Charges

June 27th, 2009 Comments off

Unused Tickets with no reservation:  In case of cancellation of the ticket for which no reservation for seat or birth is done and it is submitted within three hours past the actual departure of the train or for a cancellation of ticket valid for the whole day and submitted within three hours past the actual departure of the train, then refund is made for such ticket after deducting Rs 20 per passenger for clerikage.

RefundUnused tickets with reservation:  In case of ticket where reservation is done and then it is submitted for cancellation then refund is done after deducting the cancellation charges.  If a ticket is submitted 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of train then cancellation charges for A.C First Class and Executive Class are Rs 70, for A.C. 2 Tier, A.C. 3 Tier, First class and A.C CC is Rs 60, for sleeper class is Rs 40 and for second class is Rs 20.

If the ticket is submitted within 24 hours and up to four hours prior the scheduled departure of the train, cancellation charges are 25% of the journey fare which is subject to the minimum flat rate.

If the ticket is submitted within four hours prior the scheduled departure and up to 3 hours (destination station is 200 KM), up to six hours (destination station is between 200 KM and 500KM), up to twelve hours (destination more than 500 KM) after the departure of train then cancellation charges are 50% of the journey fate which is subject to the minimum flat rate.

Rules for RefundAfter the expiry of the mentioned period, no refund is granted at station for cancellation of tickets. In such cases where the night train leaves between 21:00 hours and 06:00 hours then refunds will be granted at the station within the specified time limit or within four hours of railway reservation office opening.

Unused waitlisted or RAC tickets: In case of waitlisted or RAC ticket is submitted for cancellation then no cancellation charges will be given up to 3 hours (destination station is 200 KM), up to six hours (destination station is between 200 KM and 500KM), up to twelve hours (destination more than 500 KM) after the train departure except for deduction for Rs 20 for clerkage.

Refund on partially used tickets: In case of partially utilized tickets where in a passenger ends his journey enroute, the station master issue a ticket deposit receipt and the refund is managed by the chief commercial manager (Refunds).

Rules for RefundRefund due to late running of trains: In this case there is no cancellation charge or clerk age is applied and all passengers are entitled for refund of complete fare. It includes the passengers having Reserved, RAC, and Waitlisted tickets.

It is applied in cases where journey is not undertaken because of late running of the train by over 3 hours of the scheduled departure. Here the ticket needs to be submitted with in the maximum time limits.

Refund in case of unavailable accommodation: In this case complete refund of fares is granted where the railway administration is not capable to give accommodation for any cause whatsoever to passengers having reserved tickets. Here the tickets need to be cancelled within three hours of train departure.

In case of accidents, breaches or a flood, if the train is cancelled then complete refund is granted within three days that exclude the scheduled departure day.

Refund in case of failure of Air Conditioning equipment: In this case when the air-conditioning did not work for a portion of the travel, the refund is granted at the destination station provided the certificate from the guard is shown and the ticket is offered within twenty hours of the train arrival.

Rules for Refund

In case of AC first class, the difference among the fares of AC first class and first class mail is refunded. In case of AC 2 tier sleeper or AC 3 tier sleeper class, the difference amid the fares of AC 2 tier/AC 3 tiers and the sleeper class mail /express is refunded.

In case of AC chair car class the difference amid the fares of AC chair car class and second class mail/express is refunded. In case of Executive class of Shatabdi trains, the difference amid the fares of notified executive and first class mail/express is refunded.

Indian Railway Online Reservation – Railway Online Booking

June 9th, 2009 Comments off

Indian Railway provides the facility of the online reservation where in railway reservation seeking passengers can reserve the tickets online over the internet.  Passengers require the computer with internet access as well as mode of online payment to reserve the tickets. This has made life easy and comfortable for the passengers as they can get their reservation done from the comfort of their home. It’s a great relief for those who do not have time to stand in the long queue at the railway counters.

Indian Railway Online ReservationIn order to reserve the tickets online, passengers need to visit the following website of the Indian Railways Online reservation.  http://www.irctc.co.in.   It is hugely popularized website that not only offers the facility for online reservation of tickets but also, provides the plethora of information regarding the railways for the passengers.

Passengers can now enquire the status of a wait listed ticket, enquire about the details of trains like its route, originating and destination stations, its class, its fare in various classes, etc., details regarding the train time table and the availability status live at that particular moment.  One can get all these benefits by using online internet railways reservation website.

Online reservation is regarded as the easiest and trustworthy mode of reserving tickets. All one require is access to a computer with internet connection and should have an online mode of making payment like a debit or a credit card. There is a list of banks cited on the page of IRCTC website.  If passenger has bank account that is listed on railway website then the payment is made instantly using the debit or credit card.

Indian Railway Online ReservationOnline reservation website registers at least a million hits every day. It provides lots of user friendly features.  There are agents available who does the job of reserving the tickets online. If one does not have a access to computer with net connection or online mode of payment like debit card/credit card, then one can approach these agents who will book the ticket by charging nominal fees from the passengers.

Sify Iway cyber cafés provides such facility of reserving the ticket by making cash payment. State Bank of India offers the railway card which is a useful for reserving the tickets. Similar to SBI, Federal Bank and IRCTC have collaborated with each other to offer the service of online railway ticket booking using the Fed Net principle. One can get the tickets delivered for free at home and the reservation charges are debited directly from the Federal Bank Account.

Shubh Yatra is a feature provided to the persons travelling by d AC 2nd Class and above and who uses railway frequently.

Indian Railway I-Ticket, Indian Railways I -Ticket Booking

June 8th, 2009 Comments off

Indian Railway offers the facility of booking the tickets online via IRCTC website and gets the tickets delivered at home. This ticket is known as I-ticket. One needs to book the I-ticket at least two or three calendar days before the date of journey as time will be required to courier the ticket to one’s home.

Indian Railway Reservation I-TicketThe ticket will be sent by courier to the address registered on the IRCTC website or to the address mentioned at the time of booking.  I-ticket will be sent in the name of the person who has booked the ticket and as of now the facility of changing the name of the recipient does not exist.  One can reserve an I-ticket even if the status of the online reservation is showing as ‘waiting list’.

IRCTC applies a service charge of Rs.40/- per ticket for booking of Second Class and Sleeper Class tickets and Rs.60/- per ticket for booking of other classes. In addition to service charges, bank also charge transaction charges for each such transaction.

IRCTC is a VeriSign certified site and one can click on the VeriSign logo in order to check the certificate. Monetary transactions through this site are secure. Site received the details of the credit card and transmits it to the Payment Gateways. It is transmitted through secure SSL mode with 128-bit encryption that is browser independent. No record of the credit card details is stored on this site Payment Gateways handle the transactions.

Indian Railway Reservation I-TicketCancellation of the I-ticket is not possible online as of now. It can be done at various PRS counters of Railway Reservation Office. Also there is no cash refund made at the counter.  After deducting the applicable cancellation charges, refund is credited back electronically to one’s credit card / bank account.

Customers can reserve the tickets from across the globe; however it is delivered the cities mentioned on the IRCTC website. One can even specify the address of a Hotel, address of a friend / relative if case it lies in the area of delivery, however one need to present authority letter to receive the ticket on behalf of the customer who has booked the tickets.



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