Indian Railways recently launched an Integrated Mobile App(IMA), Rail Saarthi, which provides an interface to access ticketing, enquiry and affiliated services. Developed by Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the app isn’t well integrated as the name says. Let’s see what the app has to offer, what it is made for and whether it meet the requirements.

Rail Saarthi isn’t just one app but requires add-on apps viz IRCTC Rail Connect – for RAIL SAARTHI, NTES – for RAIL SAARTHI, and UTS – for RAIL SAARTHI. Within the app, you will find links to download or open, apps by IRCTC Official viz IRCTC AIR, IRCTC Catering – Food on Track, IRCTC Tourism, and other service URLs. This is quite messy, just like their railway network,  instead, they could’ve come up with an all-in-one app. You’ll do a facepalm when you hear, what they intended and how much they spend on this app.

According to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s Budget Speech 2016-17 on Mobile Apps,  “Presently we have different digital solutions for ticketing, grievance redressal and other issues. We intend to integrate all such facilities into two mobile apps; one dealing with all ticketing issues and the other for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions related to all our services.” This project was sanctioned and included in the Pink Book for the year 2016-17 as item No. 199 of Northern Railway at a total cost of Rs 7 crore.

How To Set Up RAIL SAARTHI

  1. If you’ve any of the following apps viz IRCTC Rail Connect, NTES, and UTS developed by IRCTC, uninstall those.
  2. Download Rail Saarthi app.
  3. Login with IRCTC ID or Register.
  4. Install required add-on apps from the service list.
  5. You can access IRCTC AIR, IRCTC Catering – Food on Track, and IRCTC Tourism apps directly from phone launcher.

Rail Saarthi - Indian Railways Official Unified Mobile App Is In Fact A Mess

Services Integrated In RAIL SAARTHI

  1. Ticketing: This comprises of two sub sections
    • Reserved Ticketing: For this, you need the add-on app ‘IRCTC Rail Connect – for RAIL SAARTHI’ for Android smart phones. The App allows passengers to book a reservation, search for trains, check ticket availability and also cancel their tickets.
    • Unreserved Ticketing: For this, you need the add-on app ‘UTS – for RAIL SAARTHI’. This app is for booking of paperless unreserved ticket – both journey and season tickets. Payments can be done with R-wallet(UTS wallet), Paytm and Mobikwik using credit or debit cards/Net banking modes. You can also print these tickets through ATVM at originating station.
  2. Enquiry: Following enquiries are available in this App:
    • Seat Availability: Passenger can check seat/berth availability in trains for planning his/her journey through a web link.
    • Fare Enquiry: A web link is provided for this.
    • Train Running (NTES): NTES for RAIL SAARTHI provides information about train running on a nearly real time basis.
    • PNR Enquiry: A web link is provided to check booking status (Confirm/RAC/WL).
  3. Affiliated Services:
    • Air Ticket Booking: Enables passengers to book air tickets through ‘IRCTC AIR’ App.
    • Food on Track: Enables passengers to order food at his seat through ‘IRCTC CATERING’ App (also for iOS).
    • Tour Booking: Enables passengers to book tickets for a tour through ‘IRCTC TOURISM’ App.
    • Book Retiring Room: This is also a web link to the rr.irctctourism.com website.
  4. Feedback: Submit your feedback
    • Complaint/Suggestions: The COMS (Complaint Management System) App enables passengers to register/track their complaints and also provide suggestions for improvement. Direct call link to helpline Nos. 138,182 is also present.
    • Clean my Coach App (COACH MITRA): This App enables passengers to request for cleaning their coach.
    • Twitter: A link has been provided wherein passenger can tweet his suggestion/feedback through his twitter handle.

So far we have seen the entire list of services accessible via RAIL SAARTHI app. The app is somewhat handy, however, we think CRIS needs to rebuild this app. With plenty of negative reviews and lower ratings on Google Play Store, the 7 crore app project is certainly a dead-loss, unless they redo it. Hope you enjoyed the write-up. Peace!

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