Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (January 2012)|
|Subsidiary of the Indian Railways|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, NCT, India|
|Services||Catering, Tourism and Online Ticketing|
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (भारतीय रेल खानपान एवं पर्यटन निगम), is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways.
It is known for changing the face of railway ticketing in India. It pioneered internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from the mobile phones via GPRS or SMS. In addition to e-tickets, Indian Railways and Catering Tourism Corporation also offers I-tickets that are basically like regular tickets except that they are booked online and delivered by post. The tickets PNR status is also made available. Commuters on the Mumbai Suburban Railway can also book season tickets through the website. It has also launched a loyalty program called Shubh Yatra for frequent travellers. Through this program, passengers can avail of discounts on all tickets booked round the year by paying an upfront annual fee.
Seeking to make it easier to book e-tickets, It launched a scheme called Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS). RDS is a hassle-free e-ticket booking scheme allowing passengers to reserve seats against advance money kept with the corporation. It has also added flights and hotels booking facilities to their line of online reservation services.
Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation also organizes budget and deluxe package tours for domestic and foreign tourists. A popular tourism package for budget tourists covering important tourist destinations across India is "Bharat Darshan". Luxury tourism packages are also available, that involve special luxury trains such as Palace on Wheels, Royal Orient Express, Golden Chariot, Deccan Odyssey, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Buddhist Circuit Train and it is a partner in the Maharajas' Express operation.
Apart from conventional tourism, it also offers adventure tourism packages that include water sports, adventure and wildlife treks, etc. A provision for customizing tours as per specific requirements is also an added attraction. Recently a new venture of Indian Railways, named as RailTourismIndia has launched to provide direct catering and tourism packages to users.
Under the Tatkal scheme, passengers who plan their journey at short notice can book their tickets in almost all Mail/Express trains through the Indian railways internet portal. The booking starts at 10:00 am daily for AC coach reservation and for NON-AC timing is residual to 11 am , one day prior to the departure of the train from source station. Tatkal Reservation is criticized by numerous media releases, due to its inefficiency and slow server speed. Many[who?] IT expert suggests that simple steps are not being taken by the Indian Railways management which can easily resolve these issues and some time these are being linked to corruption in the entire ticketing system. Tatkal E-ticket can be booked for selected trains one day in advance excluding date of journey from the train originating station. It can be booked on the opening day from 10:00 AM onwards for AC coach and 11:00 AM onwards for NON-AC. Passengers travelling on Tatkal tickets should carry a photo ID proof along with them to be shown to the ticket checker. Earlier this year, the website has launched Lite version which doesn't include ads, pop ups, etc.
As a biggest e-commerce portal in India, it made lot of records.
- On 2 September 2013, nearly 582,000 tickets booked in a day.
- On 19 March 2014, nearly 580,000 tickets booked in a day.
- On 1 April 2015, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) created a new national record with 1345,000 tickets booked in a day.
- On 2 April 2015, nearly 1100,000 tickets booked in a day.
Awards and achievements
Some of the other awards won by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation are:
- Won Website of the Year India Award 2014
- Won Dalal Street Investment Journal (DSIJ) PSU award 2014 for the Biggest E-Commerce portal in India
- Won News Ink legend PSU Shining Awards 2014 in the category – Legend PSU of the year for Customer Friendly Operations
- Conferred with Indian e-Retail Awards 2015, in the category “Leisure and Travel eRetailer of the Year”
- IRCTC App Awarded In Best Use Of App Category In Mobillion Event 
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation to launch 'Rolling Deposit Scheme' for e-ticket - Economic Times. Articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com (28 August 2012). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
- "Indian Railways to introduce Rolling Deposit Scheme for E-Ticketing". Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Gupta, Jayanta (19 March 2010). "Rs 1 lakh a night on Maharajas’ Express". Times of India. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
- Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry. Indianrail.gov.in (30 June 2006). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
- IRCTC App Awarded In Best Use Of App Category In Mobillion Event