Last updated on January 28th, 2017
Indian Railways is the lifeline of the country. There are around 23 million people who travel regularly by train in India. Imagine, if railway tracks could be laid out in one straight path, they would circle the earth almost 1.5 times. Though it is huge and it provides an essential service of commuting, it’s fraught with many insecurities for any passenger. Whether you are a tourist or not, you will need to book the ticket, track the train and take care of food during the travel. To lower your anxiety before and during the train journey, I would like to introduce to you some useful train apps in India. These are your best bet to make your journey more comfortable.
Useful and free train apps in India
IRCTC Connect – Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has an app to provide a mobile experience for booking tickets for smartphone users. You can register yourself in the app. If you are already an IRCTC user, you can use your previous login details. As compared to the website, the app is far more user-friendly. It has a simple interface and much faster experience than the website. The app allows you to search for trains between the starting point and the final destination. After filling in start and end points, the app gives a list of trains between these stations.Tapping on a particular train shows its availability during some days. Booking tickets from thereon is also easy as the app stores the user information after filling in once for the next booking. Another advantage of this app over the website is upcoming journey alerts.
Bookmytrain – it is also one of the apps of IRCTC. The basic concept is Cash on Delivery for railway ticket booking. If you have a question why it is not integrated with IRCTC Connect – I’m also curious about this. This app is not that nicely designed as IRCTC connect, but if you want to have tickets without using online payment, this app is the solution.
Rail Yatri – Indian Railways – This app comparing to IRCTC apps doesn’t book tickets, but it provides information about trains and railway stations. The app will save you from wasting your time waiting for the train at the station for hours. It provides you alerts for travel disruptions, train delay or route change of your train. You can track your train real time with GPS locator through Rail Yatri. In India, it is important to know tips about the station or train of your choice. Rail Yatri provides you with the tips and station related information from the passengers. You can also become social and share your pain with others via sharing train delays in this app.
Ixigo Indian rail & trains – ixigo’s railways app is one of the most comprehensive apps for the railway user. You can book tickets here (ixigo will redirect to IRCTC connect for booking) and get all other important details for your travel. For e.g. you get trains running status; check routes of multiple trains to choose the most convenient option; look into seat map of trains; see the confirmation chances if you are waitlisted; get PNR status etc. This app has almost all the features required for complete Rail Travel in India.
Ixigo PNR Status – This is an app which has a single function, to automatically identify PNR (Passenger Name Record) of your next rail travel. It’s done by scanning through your inbox for SMSs from your travel agent, travel sites or IRCTC. It identifies all the PNRs in your inbox into your travel future and history. So your travel plan will be automatically established in this app. This app works also for flight PNRs.
Indian Train Alarm – The whole concept is very simple yet innovative. It generally happens, that you might not be able to sleep with a fear of missing your station if the train reaches your destination during the night. This app will set your alarm based on your location, not on time. You can set your alarm 10 km or 15 km before your destination, and you can have a sound sleep without worrying about whims and fancies of Indian Railways. It doesn’t need an internet connection for the alarm and it has low battery consumption. So, no worries whether the train is early or late, the app will inform you.
Cleartrip – Cleartrip is one of the big daddies of the travel industry in India, providing last minute flight & hotel booking among other things. IRCTC has realized this and has partnered with Cleartrip, allowing the public to book train tickets on Cleartrip directly. Whenever you face any issue with IRCTC website or its app, Cleartrip is the best place to go. You can find different trains, seats availability, train schedule and other features with Cleartrip while booking train tickets.
Travelkhana – If you are an Indian and traveling in Indian trains, you can still bet on your stomach and take food in the train. If you are a foreigner, I would advise not to challenge your digestive system by taking food from the train or local vendors on railway stations. With coming up travel & food start-ups like Travel Khana, people get a possibility to eat healthy and hygienic food. Travelkhana delivers food to your seat in the train from your favorite restaurants. You order the food and they will deliver it on the next stop of your train. They have thousands of restaurants listed with them, so just open up their app and eat tasty & healthy, literally on the go.
These 8 apps will help you to travel easy & safe with Indian Railways. If you have had any experience with Indian railways apps, I will be glad to hear it. Also if you feel any important app is missing from above list, I will be happy to update the post.