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TravelKhana, an online food delivery service for trains will now allow users to place orders on its mobile app without internet by forwarding order details as an SMS to the restaurant. A spokesperson told MediaNama that the new offline mode takes details of the passenger, trip details, followed by the order, and saves it as cached data.  This data is then sent as SMS to the TravelKhana server while the app tracks users’ location in real-time.

The company’s operations team at the restaurant’s end will prepare the order and deliver it to the passenger as soon the particular train reaches the destination. In addition to accepting orders, TravelKhana’s mobile app detects the forthcoming train trips to offer information related to the trip as well.

Currently the mobile app lists food from Veg, Non Veg & Jain Thali, Combos, Sandwiches, South Indian snacks, etc. The company claims to have completed more 1,38,227 orders through its mobile app across 160 locations in the country.

TravelKhana and IRCTC tie up

In January, TravelKhana had tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), wherein passengers placed orders from a mobile app while traveling on trains. TravelKhana said that it would have a revenue sharing agreement with IRCTC, and offer its services starting with New Delhi & Hazrat Nizammudin railway stations. It had also expressed interest in starting its services on a total of 17 stations in the first phase.

Alleged copyright & trademark infringement: Earlier in December 2015, IRCTC served a legal notice on Travelkhana alleging copyright and trademark infringement by Travelkhana’s mobile app IR Catering. The railway catering company  had claimed that IR Catering was deceptively similar in the name, colour scheme and design to the IRCTC’s own mobile application – IRCTC Connect. Travelkhana did take IR Catering off Google Play surprisingly quick move after receiving the notice.

Other players offering food delivery on trains

ZoopIndia: In this month, IRCTC had tied up with ZoopIndia, an online food delivery aggregator, to let IRCTC passengers get food delivered from ZoopIndia to their train seats. Users can call for food or order through the website, but it requires a train PNR number or train name/number. ZoopIndia by default lets it’s users order food to be delivered to train stations and passenger seats.

HelloCurry: In November last year, Hyderabad-based Hello Curry had tied up with IRCTC to provide meal options for railway passengers during their journeys, starting with the Secunderabad station. Hello Curry’s menu will be available for passengers in Delhi, Bangalore, Vizag and Pune soon. Orders can be placed on from the IRCTC’s catering website as well. While Hello Curry is listed as a food partner on the e-catering site.

Foodpanda: In the November 2015, online food delivery platform Foodpanda had tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to let passengers order meals from the platform. The pilot for this service has been launched at the New Delhi railway station and will be extended to Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai in the future.

Jubilant Foodworks:  In February 2015, IRCTC had tied up with Jubilant Foodworks to deliver Dominos’ pizza to a passenger’s seat if they travel across selected stations in India. Passengers of IRCTC can book their pizza online, through SMS or through calls currently, in addition to using the IRCTC’s e-catering service which serves veg/non-veg thali and veg/non-veg biryani alongside.

Image Credit: Wikipedia user AbhiSuryawanshi under CC BY-SA 3.0