New Delhi: The Indian Railways has undertaken a series of initiatives to ensure that it carries the maximum number of passengers in the ensuing peak summer season to optimally utilise available accommodation. Also, it is an endeavour to provide a smooth travel experience to rail travellers.
Waitlisted passengers have been given the option of accommodation in any other train, including premier services like Rajdhani or Shatabdi, without payment of any extra fare under the Vikalp scheme, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The facility to avail alternative train for the same destination was launched in April 1 this year and it has got a good response since its launching, he said. The Vikalp facility can also be availed for e-tickets booked prior to April 1, 2017. Tickets booked across reserved ticket booking counters can be cancelled through IRCTC website or by dialling 139. This has been done to make the cancellation process hassle-free, the official said.
Keeping the summer rush in mind, railways would be launching several special trains in the coming weeks. While some special trains are already being launched this month, many more would be pressed into service to ensure that one’s summer travel plan is not upset, he said Railways has ensured finalisation of the first reservation chart at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train.
After preparation of first reservation chart, current ticket booking facility is provided through any reserved ticket booking window as well as on internet till preparation of second reservation chart. In order to accommodate more passengers, vacant berths available after preparation of the second reservation chart are transferred to the next station en-route.
In case of e-tickets, boarding points can be changed through the IRCTC website at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. Wheelchair facility also has been provided free of cost to passengers through online booking. A passenger can book retiring rooms and disposable bedrolls through the IRCTC website. Besides this, passengers have been given options for ordering food through e-catering.