In a railways news update, the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched following IT enabled passenger services through video conferencing from New Delhi:
- Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile Phones on suburban stations over Central Railway
- Paperless Platforms tickets at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar Central, Panvel, Thane and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Andheri, Mumbai Central, Borivali, Dadar Western, Dadar Central, Vasai Road, Bandra, New Delhi and Nizamudding stations on Northern Railway, Western Railway and Central Railway
- Paperless Season tickets on suburban sections of Western Railway, Central Railway and New Delhi-Palwal Section of Northern Railway.
- Currency, Coin – cum – Card operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machines at various suburban stations on Central Railway and Western Railway.
- Train Enquiry Mobile Application on iOS platform.
On this occasion ,Chairman Railway Board, Shri AK Mital and other Board Members, Additional Member(C&IS) Shri Mohd. Jamshed, MD CRIS Ms Vandana Nanda were among those present at the programme.
Speaking on the occasion , Minister Of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said “Moving ahead in the direction of making Digital India, today, I am happy to inaugurate the System for Paperless Unreserved Tickets, Paperless Season Tickets and Paperless Platform Tickets through Mobile Phones, in the Mumbai Suburban system of WR and CR and Delhi – Palwal section of Northern Railway from today.
About 50 Currency-cum-coin-cum-card Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs) are now functional over various stations.
I am also happy to inaugurate the Currency and Coin Operated Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs), being installed at various stations of Central and Western Railway. All these initiatives were promised in my Budget Speech this year.
Another initiative that is being launched today is the Train Enquiry Mobile App on the iOS that is Apple platform. This app has been working very well on the Android and Windows based mobile phones and now will give good facilities for Apple phone users also.
The paperless Unreserved Ticketing System is a boon for passengers traveling in suburban areas, since it will drastically reduce the time a passenger takes at the station, waiting in queue to buy a ticket. It will enable “Mission 5 minutes” (not more than 5 minutes to buy a ticket) to become a reality. Railways will also benefit from this innovation because they will be able to cope with higher ticket sales with lower investments. .
The Paperless Ticketing service is already running in some sections of Mumbai Western Railway and Delhi. With the latest launch, this service will be available across all of Mumbai’s suburban sections on both Central and Western Railways. This system is based on the “UTS on Mobile” app, which has a “Railway Wallet” feature. While this system has been introduced to increase passenger convenience, a few safeguards have been built-in to prevent misuse of the tickets. Firstly, the tickets cannot be forwarded from one phone to another. Second, one cannot buy the ticket after starting one’s journey. A system of distinct daily colour codes, embedded QR codes, and sync feature has been devised to ease the work of the ticket examiners, while providing unparalleled convenience to the users.
A very useful feature added today is that of buying Paperless Season Tickets and Paperless Platform Tickets through the Mobile App. The Paperless Season Ticket feature will be particularly useful for the suburban passengers, large numbers of whom travel on Season Tickets.
Another innovative system being introduced for Mumbai suburban section of Western Railway and Central Railway is the Cash/Smart Card operated Ticket Vending Machine (CoTVM), which is a self-service kiosk for passengers to buy their own unreserved tickets. It has a user-friendly graphical interface that can be used by all passengers. The machine takes currency notes and coins in addition to smart cards for payment. This will save the passengers’ precious time, and will ease the pressure on the Railway administration as well, enabling them to give better service to the passengers. Again, security features”
Procedure for booking of Paperless Unreserved Journey tickets, Season tickets and Platform tickets.
Download the Mobile application from Google Play Store or Windows Store.
- Register by providing Mobile Number, Name, City, Train Type, Class, Ticket Type, Number of Passengers and Frequently travel routes.
- Payment has to be made using R-Wallet. Upon successful registration, R-Wallet will be opened with Zero Balance.
- Value can be topped up in R-Wallet by tendering cash across the nominated counter and also online on website “utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in”.
- Passenger can book single Journey ticket, Platform ticket as well as season tickets by choosing appropriate option in the App.
- The Smart Phone should be GPS enabled to book single journey ticket and Platform ticket.
Functioning Of CoTVM
Cash/Smart card operated ticket vending machine (CoTVM) is a self-operated kiosk, which can be used by passengers to buy unreserved tickets through currency/coins/smart cards and to recharge smart cards. These kiosks have easy graphical interface for ticket transaction so that the user can operate these machines themselves. The kiosk accepts currency/coin of all glued/taped/coloured notes and accepts currency notes of Gandhi series. CoTVMs will reduce queue lengths at existing ticket counters by providing an alternate unmanned ticketing solution and mode of payment.
CoTVMs have the following functions.
- Issue of non-concessional second class journey tickets for non-suburban section and second/first class journey/return tickets for suburban section.
- Issue of platform tickets.
- Renewal of non-concessional season tickets.
- Recharge of smart cards in denominations of Rs. 20/-, Rs. 50/-, Rs. 100/- and Rs. 500/-.
CoTVM consists of:
- Thin Client
- Thermal Printer
- Touch screen
- RFID reader
- Cash Validator with 15 notes escrow
- Coin Validator with 10 coins escrow
- The cash box has the capacity to hold 25,000 notes and 3,000 coins.
The basic difference between automatic ticket vending machine (ATVM) installed upto now and CoTVM is that ATVM can issue tickets through smart cards only whereas CoTVM can issue tickets using cash (notes & coins) and smart cards. It can also be used for recharging these smart cards.
Security of CoTVM
The machine has two access doors, both at the front side of the machine and is equipped with mechanical & electronic locks. One door is used for maintenance activity by the service engineer. The second door is for accessing the cash box and is integrated with an alarm system. The alarm will go off whenever the door is opened by any unauthorized person. The machine has a cash box with electro mechanical lock at the bottom. Whenever the authorized supervisor wants to open the cash box to takeout shift cash, he/she will gain access to the machine by using a supervisory smart card and his password. After entering the password, machine will print the Daily Trains Cash-cum-Summary Book (DTC) for accountal of the collected cash.
Commissioning of CoTVM
On 01.09.2015, 6 CoTVMs were inaugurated at New Delhi of Northern Railway and 08 CoTVMs at Sealdah & Howrah stations of Eastern Railway. So far, total 48 CoTVMs have been commissioned over Northern Railway and Eastern Railway.
Train Enquiry Mobile Application on iOS platform
Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the IT arm of Indian Railways, has enhanced the train enquiry system by developing mobile apps. Mobile app for Windows 8 and Android were launched earlier and are widely used by rail passengers. Now one more step ahead, mobile app for iOS platform has also been developed and ready for launch. It has now become easier for the rail passengers to track information on expected arrival and departure timings of a particular train and other information.
National Train Enquiry System (NTES) is the base system which provides information to public about train running on near real time through various interfaces like nationwide unique rail enquiry number 139, website (www.trainenquiry.com), mobile interfaces, Touch Screens, Face to Face enquiry and Display Boards at stations.
One of the best features of the app is ‘spot your train’ which provides information such as its current position, expected time of arrival and departure at a particular station. Other features are ‘train schedule’, ‘train between station’, ‘live station’, ‘information on cancelled, rescheduled & diverted trains’. ‘Live Station’ query provides list of trains expected to arrive at/depart from any station in next 2 or 4 hours.
Thus, CRIS has made available train enquiry app for three most commonly used mobile platforms viz. Windows, Android and iOS.The NTES app is available as a free download from App store.