After years of travelling in India I have realized one this – the best way to explore India is on road and the best connectivity to anywhere in India is via India Railways! Yes, if you want to travel in India you can’t escape these modes of transport since not everywhere you can go via flight, right? But guess what it wasn’t easy using both modes of transport until some years back. Indian railways site probably had the worst server ever that kept crashing almost all the time and road transport was unsafe and super expensive. But thanks to technology and smartphone apps things have changed for good now. On my recent travel – read everywhere this year – I used a couple of really cool applications that made travel easy for me! Today I would be telling you about one and another one in some days.
So first deal is with trains. Frankly I travelled in trains after 3 years in India and not once but 2 times this year already and would be travelling again to Ahmadabad next month in Shatabdi Express. And from finding seat availability on sluggish Indian railways site to checking PNR status to actually getting decent food in trains I found a new help in the town – Rail Yatri! I used their app to get the status of our train during my Orissa trip and book food from a hotel that got delivered in the train. (They have a web version and a mobile application as well and though the review is around the app, the site also works in the same way.) So if you guys are wondering what makes RailYatri such a big help, here are the reasons.
Pros of Rail Yatri
|Train Status at a glance|
Rail Yatri tells you exactly where a train is and gives you when a train would reach a station and on which platform! Imagine you have to pick someone up, help them with luggage and are totally clueless about where the train is coming and by the time you figure out getting there becomes a task or you reach the station only to figure out trains are late by an hour or two because of maybe the weather. Well, this is where Rail yatri comes to your rescue – it tells you the platform and the time when the train would arrive at a station. Know it all, be at ease right.
|Food woes no more!|
Okay sorry state, yes, but fact - but railway food is horrible still! I personally could never bring myself to consume anything from the railway pantry during my journeys and more than 24 hours in trains scared me for this very reason – food! But Rail Yatri has an awesome solution to the travel food woes – it lets you order your train meals online with options from hotels close to some stations and at pretty reasonable rates. So, you order food with your ticket and forget all the worries of bad food. Like the app already?
|Check this out|
You can do PNR check and Seat check in seconds which means it is faster than Indian Railways when it comes to these functionalities and well of course efficient! It also helps you by forecasting the chances of seat availability or the chances of your ticket getting confirmed with your PNR number which is based on a tested algorithm created with help of about 15 lakh PNR numbers.
4. Rail Wisdom
Okay guess you are going to some new place and need a hotel or restaurant really close to the station or to some tourist place, Rail Wisdom of Rail Yatri helps you just there.
It give you a complete break up of the fare of a ticket. Total transperancy is a good thing right?
|There you go - the break up|
Cons or con of Rail Yatri
1. You can’t book a ticket.
Maybe this is something IRCTC wants to keep to itself completely but I really wish Rail Yatri could get the option for booking tickets for its users.
2. Cost of cancellation.
Indian Railways has increased the rate of cancellation of tickets and they are different for different trains and classes. This month I had to cancel my Gujarat tickets which were actually tentative so it would have really helped to know for which train I would have incurred least loss but I had no way to figure it out and Shatabdi cost me a bomb during cancellation. I wish Rail Yatri had this feature along with its cost estimation feature.
So if you ask me, apart from these tiny cons I would really recommend Rail Yatri for all those who are using Indian Railways! It is, in my view, a pretty helpful application. Let me know if you guys know of a similar application which is really helpful while travelling in India.