Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Sep 15, 2006

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Home Page - Railways
Logistics - Information Technology
Arming TTEs with handhelds for real-time ticket position info

Mamuni Das


New Delhi , Sept. 14

If implemented, this move could significantly increase transparency in the seat allocation process for waitlisted passengers on trains. The Indian Railways is conducting a pilot project under which ticket examiners are given handheld devices instead of paper-charts to feed in details of passengers present on trains once a train starts its journey.

The handheld devices are basically personal digital assistants (PDAs), which are connected to the railways reservation database (the PRS) through a wireless service provider's broadband network.

How it works

A latest version of the train's reservation chart is downloaded on the PDA using a software application prepared by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the IT arm of the Railways. Once a train starts moving, the ticket examiner types in details regarding the passenger turnout, which are updated on the passenger reservation system (PRS) on a real-time basis.

Thus, if passengers with reserved seats have not turned up and there are passengers with waitlisted tickets who have boarded the train, the examiners have to feed in those details as well in the device and allocate seats to all waitlisted passengers who have boarded from the first station subject to availability of seats.

Since the exact status of unclaimed seats gets updated on the PRS server, waitlisted passengers in subsequent stations are allocated seats well in advance. The project is on trial in Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi trains and BSNL's GPRS network is being used.

"The handheld devices could have been a laptop or a notebook," said a CRIS official. However, a PDA was chosen as laptops and notebooks are more expensive and have large sizes.

The PDAs cost about Rs 30,000, but the Railways expects that if procured in bulk, these prices could be driven down. CRIS is learnt to be in talks with various IT companies for the PDA. Ministry sources indicate, "We are closely eyeing this project. We are considering implementing it across the Railways in a phased manner."

Subsequently, these devices could also be used to issue tickets within trains.

Demand for PDAs

The Railways has some 2,000 reserved trains, and about 8,000-10,000 unreserved trains. Each train is allocated about four-five ticket examiners generally. Thus, demand for PDAs could be in the region of 8,000-10,000 if the Railways were to implement the project in all reserved trains.

If extended to non-reserved trains, the numbers could be much higher.

Several railways in Europe also provide their ticket examiners handheld devices, but these devices are not connected online.

More Stories on : Railways | Information Technology

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page


Stories in this Section
Rain belt propagates north in peninsula

Oriental to hike medical premium for 50 plus
`Third-party exports eligible for DTA sale entitlement'
IBM offers `Intelligent Grid' to check power theft, T&D losses
Balrampur Chini's plan to buy Indo Gulf hits roadblock
Tata Tea to raise Rs 460 cr thru pref issue to Tata Sons
Maruti Udyog stops Alto exports to Europe
Dell to set up facility in TN
Satyam looking at buy-outs in Japan
Cement, bank stocks take Sensex past 12K-mark
Munjal Showa down on UTI selling
`SEZ Act may allow agri land acquisition for real estate'
Russia's central banker shot dead
Arming TTEs with handhelds for real-time ticket position info

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line