Indian Railways is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting sixteen million passengers and more than one million tonnes of freight daily.Indian Railway is the world’s largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.6 million employees. Good!
Have you seen Indian Railway Website? It has one of the worst user interface and user experience. The website has a lot advertisements, and all are image ads too! The same case with its divisional websites, for example see Southern Railway website.
Many of the railway websites are developed and maintained by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System), an organization under Indian Railways. I don’t understand why would someone put ads in those sites? I doubts that the ads are put by some employees of CRIS and earning money in their pocket! I don’t think railway really need to go for website ads for making it profitable!
Vimal Kumar individually has developed an AJAX based simple and very effective interface for getting Indian Railway Express train information in a single window. Check out his innovation at eRail.in. You can find trains between two stations, time table, schedule, fare, PNR status, train route, seat availability, distance between stations, fare, halting stations, arrival and departure timing, running status, and much more can be checked on eRail.in.
Vimal promises to add more tools to help travelers to make faster decisions. The data for the site is provided by indianrail.gov.in
Using the same interface you can get PNR status and train number details. For the search, you can select major stations from the dropdown list or directly enter the station code. Just by a single click you can get details of the return trip also. eRail also provided Google Map mashup for the train route. From within the user interface, you can get the ticket availability for a particular train with a click. You can select date of travel from the calendar module, select class and type from the dropdown list.
The eRail interface will surely help you to make your railway travel decisions much faster. Then you can logon to IRCTC for booking your ticket.
It would have been great if clicking on a link in eRail.in can take me directly to the booking website with all information filled. But IRCTC website wants me to login first in order to get to the next pages. Why don’t CRIS employ smart people like Vimal and make better websites?!
Have you used Indian Railway website or IRCTC for booking your tickets? How easy was it? How do you find eRail.in?