RailYatri has yet again relaunched its train tracking app RailRadar, although this time it comes with GPS tracking. The platform now sources its data from the GPS on travellers’ phones, presenting users with a more accurate depiction of where the train is, if it’s late or not, nearest stations and other details.
As before, the platform displays colour coded trains across the country overlaid on Google Maps, with arrows pointing towards the direction of the train. Users can search for trains by number, name or just click on the relevant train on the map. The platform then reveals information like the partial e-mail ID of the user providing the GPS info, the exact location of the train along with the latitude and longitude, and an on time or late status.
We imagine that RailRadar sources its data from users that have installed RailYatri’s app and are using the trip sharing feature. The company had launched this feature in May, that let train travellers share their location live with friends, while on the train. Additionally, users could access the progress of train in real-time as well as use the app to find the train status. The app could also calculate the expected arrival time, distance left or delays to the destination. This is akin to how Google Maps sources traffic data.
Note that after re-launching in November 2013, the RailRadar service did not provide the actual running status or the actual location of the train, rather these locations were plotted based on the regular scheduled timetable. The platform, which launched at #NAMA back in October 2012, used to initially provide more accurate locations using data from the Indian Railways. However, in September 2013, the Indian Railways pulled the plug on RailRadar and instead redirected users to a CRIS version of Train Enquiry.
RailYatri funding: In June, RailYatri raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Helion Venture Partners, along with Omidyar Network and existing investors Blume Ventures and Ujama Ventures. The company had said then that the funds would be used “to reach out to every train traveler in India and consolidate its product leadership in the domain.” The company had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from the early stage investor Blume Ventures and an unnamed existing US-based investor, in February last year.
RailYatri Insights: In March this year, the company had introduced a new feature called RailYatri Insights, which allows travelers to find out state of mobile network coverage on the route they’re traveling, delay patterns of a train at the station they’re boarding from, top 5 stations most passengers are likely to off-board on a train, most frequently visited cities from a particular station and city railway network coverage. The company claimed that this tool provides insights based on train traveler data collected from more than 50 million travelers over the past few years, across 8000 train stations and over 2000 train routes. This tool is also available on RailYatri’s Android app.
RaiYatri had also introduced a new fog alerts feature on its application that allows passengers to check probability of train delays due to fog. The app also added a GPS locator, which tells the travelers their exact location, along with the estimated time of arrival at upcoming stations.