Post the IRCTC upgrading its ticketing platform, the Indian Railways is planning to make ticket purchases more specific, in order to give customers better options.

If you’ve ever bought a Railway ticket, you know that it is something of a lottery system: there is uncertainty about whether you will actually get a ticket (the demand supply gap is massive and for some trains, tickets are booked months in advance). Typically customers have been allowed to choose between upper and lower berths in long distance trains, but never has it actually allowed them to pick seats. The Railway Minister, while announcing the Railway Budget for the 2014-15 fiscal, said that the scope of online ticketing is being expanded so that: “People can book a Train, People can book a Coach, People can book a Berth and People can book a Seat in Chair Car.”

This might allow you to book, for example, a berth towards the center of the rail bogey (which is far more peaceful than a berth next to the door) as well as choose between a side berth and a main berth. A timeframe for this rollout hasn’t been specified, but it is a great move.

Improving the IRCTC Platform

The Railways will allow allow buying unreserved and platform tickets online, and the IRCTC platform is being expanded to allow 7200 tickets per minute (up from 2000 tickets per minute) and 120,000 simultaneous users: We’re not sure if this is a new initiative, because the IRCTC has launched a new ticketing platform, and it appears to be one that actually stays up. So, is this a case of an announcement after the launch?

Why did CRIS ever launch a ticketing platform?

Readers might recall that CRIS had launched a platform for rail ticketing that competed with that from IRCTC, a failure, an idea that was pointless, and perhaps one that should be investigated because it was never needed and never really worked. Did anyone get penalized for this waste of public funds?