In a bid to keep pace with the tech revolution, Indian Railways have opened a page on social networking site Facebook. The effort is aimed at providing instant train and status information to passengers.
Indian Railways’ latest Facebook initiative would be welcomed by hundreds of thousands of outbound passengers, although it is currently restricted to Delhi city. Passengers looking to travel from stations in and around the capital will find various information such as arrival & departure times, platform number, journey schedule, etc., apart from their reservation status. A spokesperson for the Railways said it would also indicate availability of seats benefiting people who travel on short notice.
Passengers unfamiliar with railway reservation procedures (such as foreign tourists) or those that do not like wait in queues, are easy targets for touts who operate at virtually every Indian station. The instant railways info page on Facebook will now reduce people’s dependence on such touts as the information is easily available.
The Facebook app being found on nearly every brand of mobile phone, would ensure easy access by all. It would augment the Passenger Reservation System counters set up all over the country and includes bookings over the Internet. Passengers had so far depended on the reservation chart which was only put up about 3 hours before the train’s departure or the previous night if scheduled to depart early morning.
The Facebook page is expected to provide up-to-the-minute information as it will be linked with the National Train Inquiry Service. The Delhi office of Indian Railways has urged other terminuses in India to follow its example, in order to increase convenience for passengers.