Indian railways have been taking various initiatives to improve passenger amenities despite facing financial constraints. To ease the woes of commuters, the public transporter has launched a WhatsApp number i.e. 7349389104 through which passengers can know current running status of trains. Passengers have to first save this number in their contact list and later they will have to send the train number for which the inquiry is required. Subsequently, they will receive updated information pertaining to the status of the train. This service is available in addition to the number 139 through which passengers can know about the running status of trains.
Aarti Singh Parihar, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of Western Railways said that the common passengers need to be updated about the running status of trains; hence, railways have launched this number. “Our endeavour is to provide better amenities to passengers. This is a very useful facility for commuters and they have appreciated it,” she said.
“This service is centralised and it is not being done at the local level. All of us have heard about National Train Inquiry System and its services are centralised. It is a system generated service sans manual intervention,” she added.
Earlier railways had received several complaints from passengers for their inability to know about the status of running trains. Passengers have to undergo hardships if trains reach late after the scheduled arrival time as stations become overcrowded. Trains often get late due to various factors like signal failure, accidents, fog etc. Some trains even get cancelled but passengers remain in dark about the status of trains.
Many times they make inquiries about the status of train on inquiry counters but they fail to get proper feedback from the officials. For resolving this issue, railways have started WhatsApp number for the benefit of commuters. Thus, commuters can now easily obtain the status of running of trains through their mobile phones.
Abhishek Das, a frequent traveller said, “I do travel very often through Indian railways. To check the status of train, logging through National Train Inquiry System was a time consuming process and we i.e. passengers were unable to get real time updates. This WhatsApp number is a welcome step though I am yet to save the number. Frequent and occasional travellers will derive benefit out of it.”
Of late, railways have been using technology to offer better services to passengers. Railways have already started Wi-Fi services at 257 stations and work is in progress at another 161 stations. Along with Wi-Fi services, railways are planning to establish kiosks with hotspots and will provide services like e-governance, e-banking, e-healthcare etc.
Already 1,200 stations have been identified across the country for starting this service. Railways are using social media for faster resolution of passenger complaints. Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest train network and transports as many as 23 million people everyday.
Vida J, a Malad resident, said that she had saved this number last week after the news about the WhatsApp number became viral on social media. “When I tried to inquire about the status of one of my relative’s train, the number was not reachable as my messages failed to get delivered. Since it is a newly launched service, therefore, I hope all technical glitches will be sorted out in coming days and it will enable passengers to get live status of their trains,” she said.