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Todays Headlines


  • Railways launches ticketing through SMS

    NEW DELHI: The railways on Friday launched SMS-based ticketing with two dedicated numbers — 139 and 5676714 — for the service.

  • Booking of tickets through non-internet based mobile phones, launched as a pilot project by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), will also help railways overcome the menace of touts who fleece unsuspecting passengers.

  • IRCTC aims to make railway ticket booking even easier through SMS or menu-based USSD technology which works on all mobile phones. Through this service, customers can not only book tickets but also search for stations, trains, availability, PNR enquiry, make cancellation etc.

  • In order to give improved customer service and empower the common man who does not have access to internet and cannot afford to buy smart phones, we are launching SMS ticket booking service, railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge said. He said the service will be particularly useful to workers staying away from their homes as they will find the service convenient as well as cost-effective and they will not have to travel to booking counters and forgo a day's earnings. Share your views

  • Who can avail the facility?

    The facility can be used only by those who are registered with the IRCTC. The service is accessible for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. All that one requires for  SMS-ticketing  is a Java-enabled mobile phone or a smart phone and active GPRS service.

    Steps to booking railway tickets through SMS

    Step 1: One should register oneself with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC). On registration, one can download and install IRCTC mobile on their Java-enabled mobile phone. One can also register one’s mobile number at the user’s bank. The Bank provides MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and OTP (one time password) for authorization of payment.

    Step 2: One has to SMS his/ her travel details – train number, destination, journey date, class and passenger details like name, age and gender on the SMS box and SARATHI will book the ticket and deliver it  through SMS.

    Step 3: SARATHI will answer by sending a pre-composed message, asking for  journey details. It will also send details like  availability of tickets and other information.

    Step 4: The sender will get  transaction ID and then make payment through sending another SMS by typing PAY, the transaction ID and MMID given by the bank, followed by the password.

    Step 5: The ticket fare gets deducted from the bank account; the ticket gets booked and the ticket will be delivered through a SMS. No ticket print-out will be required as the ticketing message in the mobile phone will substitute the ticket and will be valid all through the journey.

    Mode of Payment

    The Railways plans to introduce the concept of M-wallet as a payment option, besides the Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) that requires registration with a bank. M-wallet is a pre-paid instrument,that will be available at all mobile retail outlets where customers can recharge it as one does for prepaid mobile connections.

    Service Charges

    The service will be available to  all mobile subscribers at Rs 3 per SMS and payment gateway charges will be around Rs 5 for ticket amounting less than Rs 5000 and Rs 10 for tickets above Rs 5000.

    Indian Railways’ SMS-based ticketing is expected to come into force from July 1, 2013 according to reports.

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