Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rail Yatri - A New Travel Buddy





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.

Features
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!
2.  Food
Options!
More Options!
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.
Cost Please?
5. Fare
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.

40 comments:

  1. This is very helpful for us travelers! I will check this out and try, thanks for your recommendation!

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    1. Thanks for visiting the blog Blair. Do try the app :)

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  2. Very useful info for travelling on trains. Have never used a train to travel and this seems like a plan.

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    1. very nice
      must visit shimla too!!
      there is a very informative site which helped me know about Shimla
      https://www.shimlahp.com/

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  3. Nice to see how mobile technology changes the life of the travelers for the best! Thanks for sharing!

    Elena | www.inspiredtoexplore.com

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  4. I love trains!! Trains are my favorite way to travel and see the area looking out the window and at each stop.

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  5. I enjoy traveling by train but have heard horror stories about trains in India. Thanks for this other perspective. This app sounds great. It really is a shame you can't buy a ticket though it.

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    1. Trains in India are also pretty safe and nice. Atleast the ones I have been on were really nice :)

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  6. Seems like a useful app to have. It definitely eases out finding trains to a destination, much better interface than what IRCTC offers.

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  7. Very useful app indeed. The best way to explore India is through the amazing train network that connects all parts of the country very well.

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    1. Railways connects almost every corner of India :D

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  8. Sounds very promising Vaishakhi! I haven't traveled in trains for ages fearing the difficulties I would have to face. But now I must try out.

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    1. Indrani I didnt travel in trains for almost 3 years, then the new trains and some apps helped me travel in trains again.

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  9. I have travelled around India, but never by train. I need to fill this gap! :)

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    1. Maybe when you are in India again :)

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  10. Love the live updates! Great app!

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  11. This is so useful! We travelled in Asia by train with the kids last year and they enjoyed a lot, we are having conversations at home about India and we are considering it as our next big trip with the kids, trains would make our lives so much easier. I'll keep this post among my favorites, it will probably be very useful for us

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    1. Gabi you would love to travel by some trains in India with your kids. Let me know of the places you are planning to visit. I might be able to help you with the good trains :)

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  12. This is very useful information for those who would like to travel via train in India. thanks a lot.

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  13. Rail Yatri looks great! I've never been to India but I still have no problem reading the screens. And how amazing that you can order decent food too!

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    1. Haha the food thing is a big plus point specially for Indian Trains.

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  14. Thanks for this perspective! I didn't have the greatest experience on the overnight trains (I did a couple, but the one that was challenging was from Jaipur to Varanasi). After reading your piece, I am compelled to give it another try. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Janine, I personally haven't been to UP, Punjab or Bihar but have heard those are the bad trains and super crowded. But there are some amazing trains worth trying like the Rajdhani and Shatabdis. Hopefully you will have a better experience next time.

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  15. That is a very interesting app. I traveled by train mostly on my trip to India and to be honest, I got really sick by eating on the train. Luckily it was my last day in India but I almost missed the flight due to being so sick.

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    1. I used to avoid eating in the trains earlier and then I stopped using trains altogether just for this reason. But recently I was travelling to a very offbeat place and had to use trains again. Glad I could get decent food delivered in the train.

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  16. While I love train travel, it's not something that I do a lot of in my country. I prefer driving places, and it usually turns out to be cheaper than the train. I have however used the railway system in quite a few Western European countries and loved every second of it. As for India, i'd go see it any way I could :D

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    1. I have heard travelling in trains is a cheaper option only in Indian subcontinent and Russia, other places people prefer driving places. Guess India will give you the chance to enjoy trains soon :)

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  17. Oh this is AWESOME! I was in India for half of 2014 and I usually had to get the concierge at my hotel to book train tickets for me because I couldn't use the India Railways payment gateway. This is awesome news! I added this advice to my post about travel in India as well! http://judsonlmoore.com/travel-advice-india

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    1. Using the IRCTC Site can be a task for first timers but now there are some really good options. Thanks for adding this to your post :)

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  18. I think trains and subways are the best ways to travel, if they have it available. I love train rides because they are very scenic and enjoyable.

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  19. What a wonderful and unique article! I hardly hear anyone talking about rail travel anymore. They're truly such amazing ways to travel, and to see the sights along the way. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Glad you liked the article :) Thanks.

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  20. Train travel is the best way to explore a country and see things you wouldn't see on the road or in the sky. What a great guide and I LOVE the video.

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