Railway passengers will once again be able to order food during their journey. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the catering and ticketing arm of Indian Railways, has announced that it will resume e-catering services from February 1.
"The company will resume e-catering services at a selected number of stations (62 stations) in the first phase w.e.f. 1 February 2021 onwards," IRCTC said in a statement. The list of stations includes New Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Vijayawada and Ernakulam, among others.
Train operations were put on hold from March 22 last year to check the spread of coronavirus in the country. Later, passenger special trains were introduced on routes with high demand, but Indian Railways didn't resume serving food in trains. The Railway Ministry had allowed eateries and shops to operate on railway stations.
In a tweet on Saturday, Ministry of Railways said, "This service will be started by following all the safety related rules, which will provide better and customized catering for the passengers."
भारतीय रेल द्वारा COVID संकट के दौरान बंद की गयी ई-केटरिंग सेवा को अब चुनिंदा स्टेशनों पर 1 फरवरी से पुनः शुरू करने जा रही है।— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 30, 2021
सुरक्षा संबंधी सभी नियमों का पालन करते हुए यह सेवा शुरु की जायेगी, जिससे यात्रियों के लिए बेहतर एवं मनपसंद खानपान की व्यवस्था उपलब्ध होगी। pic.twitter.com/hZ0JFyJhP4
IRCTC had started e-catering services in 2014 where passengers could order food from popular restaurant chains as well as regional and local delicacies. Orders are placed via dedicated smartphone application 'Food On Track', website, or through call, which are then delivered to passengers' seats when the trains reach the designated railway stations.
IRCTC claims that it was receiving 20,000 e-catering orders per day before COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Here's how you can order food with IRCTC's e-catering service:
- Download 'Food On Track' app. The passengers can also log in to the e-catering service website, https://www.ecatering.irctc.co.in/
- Once logged in, passengers have to enter their PNR number. A list of stations will appear in a drop-down menu from which the passenger can choose the station they want the food to be delivered to
- After that, the menu will come up from where passengers can select the food items and vendor of their choice. The payment can be done online or through 'Cash on delivery' mode
- Orders can also be placed by calling 1323.