Passengers of Indian Railways will now be able to avail IRCTC's online services in an easier fashion starting next year, owing to upgrades in IRCTS's website as well as the Rail Connect app.
The Railway Minister had reviewed the upgradation being worked for the ticket booking website. According to him, the e-ticketing web portal should offer holistic convenience to travellers for their railway journeys.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled on December 31 new versions of the website and app, which offer a more personalised and faster ticket-booking experience. The use of artificial intelligence in the upgrades is what enables users to book tickets seamlessly, informed the minister.
The concept of "one click" forms the theme of the new IRCTC website, with several details such as availability of trains, booking of meals and accommodation, last transaction details etc. being made available at the click of a button.
Some of the major features of the upgraded new IRCTC website are its changes in interface, offering a plethora of new options that make browsing hassle-free. The AI provides an enhanced process for searching trains, giving intelligent suggestions on journeys and train stations, and providing with predictive entry options for saved passenger details.
In addition, passengers will be able to access integrated information of booking details, details of the last transaction, as well as statues for refunds and cancellations, all in 'one click.' The 'one click' feature has also been added for the booking of selected trains and classes.
The new IRCTC interface will also display all information necessary to make a booking, including confirmation probability and availability of different classes, on one single page. While the pages for payment have also been worked upon, using the cache system to notify about the current status of bookings/trains also improves accuracy. Passengers can also now have a prompt review of their journey itinerary using the app and the website.
CEO and Chairman of the Railway Board VK Yadav had said that the website is not just meant for booking tickets, but is to cater to all the needs of passengers. On the one-stop shop that the website and the app should actually be, Yadav said that travellers should be able to book food, cabs, hotels, among other needs using the government portals.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had reviewed the work under renovation last week, directing railway officials to be mindful that the new iterations of the online service platforms adds holistic value to passengers' experience. The minister also emphasised upon the need for a more user-friendly and convenient website, as more people continue to switch to booking tickets online.
The last time the website of IRCTC saw an upgrade was in 2018, when the need to 'Log In' was done away with. Features including the Vikalp feature, waitlist prediction feature, a new user interface, among others were also added in the last upgrade.