Indian Railways is bringing up much needed changes to the system and making life easier for Indian train travelers. For few years now, the only accepted way for E-Ticket confirmation was carrying a physical paper printout of tickets booked online. Tons of paper was wasted purely on this.
Few months back, IRCTC announced that there was no need of a physical printout of E-Ticket for train travel. A passenger could just take a screenshot on his mobile and it would be valid.
Now, Indian Railways has gone one step further – the Ministry of Railways has decided to permit SMS confirmation sent by IRCTC containing vital details as an proof on par with the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS). This has come into effect from 1st February, 2012.
Essentially, when a user books a ticket online, he is sent a SMS confirmation from IRCTC giving details of his journey along with ticket details. A traveler can just show that SMS on his mobile along with a valid ID to the ticket checker. That will be valid proof that he has the ticket and can travel without any issues!
However, IRCTC has laid down certain mandatory features that the SMS should contain:
- SMS sent by IRCTC / Railways will be considered for the purpose of confirmation and
- The SMS would contain all the vital ticket details like PNR, Train Number, Date of Journey, Class, Name & Number of Passengers, Coach & Seat Number and Fare paid.
- Also if feasible, the SMS will accommodate the names of all passengers booked on the e-ticket, otherwise maximum number of passengers.
- The authorized SMS containing all the aforementioned vital details when displayed through laptops / palmtops / mobile phones combined with valid photo-id in original shall be treated as an instrument on par with the ERS.
And if you are smartphone user, it gets even easier. Earlier in Jan, Indian Railways partnered with 3 Indian mobile payment gateways that allow users to book & pay for Railway tickets directly on the mobile phone.
Kudos to Indian Railways for making Train Reservation Ticketing System passenger friendly – This will surely save lot of effort and at the same is extremely environment friendly!