Home > LEAD STORY > SMS Sent By IRCTC Can Be Used As Train Ticket Now


SMS Sent By IRCTC Can Be Used As Train Ticket Now

In a move to make Indian train ticketing and travel even more convenient for the passengers, the ministry of railways has decided to permit Short Messaging Service (SMS) sent by the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), as an instrument on par with the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS).

This basically means that now passengers won’t have to take printouts of the e-ticket nor need to have a smartphone to display virtual reservation messages (VRM) while travelling. An authorized SMS when displayed through laptops/palmtops/mobile phones combined with valid photo-id in original will suffice.

The SMS will contain vital details like PNR, train number, date of journey, class, name and number of passengers, coach and seat number and fare paid and if feasible, will also accommodate the names of all the passengers booked on the e-ticket (if not all then the maximum number of passengers). The initiative has already come into effect from the 1st of this month.

The SMS will have to be displayed during the course of on-board/off-board checking and if the passenger fails to produce/display it due to any eventuality (loss, discharged mobile/laptop etc), but has the prescribed proof of identity, a penalty of Rs 50 per ticket which is applicable to such cases will be levied.

Indian Railways has also provided a list of valid proofs of identity that have to be produced in original during the course of on-board and off-board checking that include voter photo identity card; passport; PAN card; driving licence; photo identity card having serial number issued by central/state government; student identity card with photograph issued by recognized school/college for their students; nationalized bank passbook with photograph and credit cards issued by banks with laminated photograph.

Additionally, the unique identification card will also be considered a valid ID proof.

Earlier, Indian Railways had decided that a screen shot of the e-ticket displayed through laptops/Tablets/mobile phones (referred to as VRM and the mobile reservation message (MRM) for tickets booked on mobile phones) combined with a valid photo-id proof would work as an instrument on par with the ERS. This was seen as a revolutionary step since passengers would no longer have to carry physical tickets or ERS with them while travelling on trains. They had also launched mobile ticket booking application that enables users to book their railway tickets through their mobile phones.

Net, the new move will make it more mobile friendly to travel on trains. Given that more than half of the country is connected through a mobile connection as against just a fraction of mobile users with Internet enabled phones, the latest initiative will have the biggest impact in bringing user friendly mode of ticketing for the consumer. Even as VRM and MRM was also a step forward in taking train ticketing to a paperless world, they required a Web connected device.

The new service makes it device agnostic as all mobile handsets come with SMS feature, including low end basic handsets.

What we wonder is whether the authorities have communicated the same to all their ticket collectors. Else users who may want to try out the new digital ticketing solution might find themselves fined for not sticking to the old world.

8 Comments

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Biswajit February 6, 2012 17:44

Good move 4 Nature. If Mobile stolen in train then what happend !!!!!!!!

Sandipan February 6, 2012 17:54

This is great because now people will be able to book tickets on the go without having to worry about printing the tickets.

Abraham Parangot February 6, 2012 18:04

The courrupted class of T.T.R s can corner anyone, if you do not have a print out of the ticket with you and by chance the SMS got deleted in your cell phone. Beware of the unfriendly Rly staff in India.

Sam February 7, 2012 0:35

@biswajit: wht if there is an earthquake and the train crashes…… stop travelling in trains if u r so skeptical…… i think it is a gr8 initiative..

Kumar February 7, 2012 6:01

Yes, this is a good initiative by IRCTC. As Abraham pointed out, the TTEs need to be friendly on this as well as fellow passengers. I used a VRM once and the TTE was almost ok with it until some other passenger (the guy who did not have a reservation and was occupying my seat) started arguing that I dont have a ticket. The TTE, smelling an opportunity, started ridiculous arguments asking what would happen if I lose my cell. Although I told him, the same thing would apply if I lose my ticket too, it left a bad taste altogether. I think sms would be good since more and more people will begin to use it including the lesser privileged travellers now. So far, there is no solution to unaware and uncouth co-passengers but that is another topic. Just my 2 cents – if you are travelling in the Bengal and Bihar region, do yourself a favor and get a print out still.

Anand Rai February 7, 2012 10:17

@biswajit: You have raised a valid point but if you take a closer look at the 4th paragraph, it clearly states

“The SMS will have to be displayed during the course of on-board/off-board checking and if the passenger fails to produce/display it due to any eventuality (loss, discharged mobile/laptop etc), but has the prescribed proof of identity, a penalty of Rs 50 per ticket which is applicable to such cases will be levied.”

Sandeep February 7, 2012 14:50

Thats true Anand and Biwajit. While travelling long distance, chances of battery drain out for mobile/laptops is a common thing.Though the initiative is good, but it is still better to have physical copy to keep away from the wrath of indisciplined rlwy staffs and unruly passengers,

bhimraj gurung July 11, 2013 5:47

The fact that your name in the list displayed outside the compartment which has been displayed in the reservation chart in platform and a copy of it is carried by the accompanying TTE should suffice with photo ID of the passenger.

Leave a comment

*