The behemoth that is the Indian Railways has for long been the most preferred travel option for almost all Indians. Hailed as the largest railway network at one time till it was overtaken by networks from other countries, the Indian Railways ferry lakhs of people to and from their destinations every day.
Mumbai, Maharashtra -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/02/2015 -- However, the railways have not been able to keep up with the growing population and demand of the country. And with the advent of low-cost airlines, the common man and woman is now opting to fly out to his destination rather than taking the scenic route on a train.
Here are 6 reasons other than low-cost airlines why people are not taking the trains anymore:
1. Ticket issues: Most trips are planned on the spur of the moment and every time one sits down to book a train via IRCTC or even go to the railway station to book their ticket, they invariably get a waitlisted ticket. It is only in cases where the trip is planned months in advance when one can get a confirmed ticket. And we all know how many trips we have planned months in advance, right?
Interestingly, the Indian Railways knows how many coaches each train has and how many seats each coach has, still that doesn't stop if from overbooking the trains. Instead of doing that, the Indian Railways would do better to streamline its system by limiting the number of ticket sales per train to the capacity of each train. Maybe it can learn a few things from the many airlines and their ticketing system.
2. Safety records: It is not just train accidents that make the people opt for a flight to their destination, but also the rising number of crimes against women that are reported almost on a daily basis from some train or the other.
3. Dirty toilets: Despite the fact that the Indian Railways has been in operation for a long time now, the one thing that has not changed in almost any train is the toilet. They are dirty, they stink and worse, a person is supposed to squat above a hole and do his business. The trains' rocking motion doesn't help either. The railways need to take a long hard look at the toilets in the trains and perhaps come up with a cleaner, less stinkier alternative.
4. Food: If the toilets are bad, the food is worse. One look at the pantry will put you off railways food forever. With cockroaches having a free run all over the pantry car and rats giving them company, one wonders about the hygiene of the food being served in the trains. The situation is far worse in long-distance trains where the water that is served to the people is stored in rusted containers above the pantry car.
5. Faster travel options: Trains run on rails and as such can run at a limited speed. The longer the distance to travel, the longer time it will take. Our fastest train is the Bhopal Shatabdi Express which runs at 150kmph. These days we have cars that can easily do that same speed and reach the destination at more or less the same time. Why would anyone want to take a train in this situation? Also, why would anyone want to spend two days cooped up in a train when one can reach their destination in two hours by air?
6. Inordinate delays: It's almost always a matter of celebration when a train arrives on time anywhere. Even the premium Rajdhanis and Shatabdis can not always be trusted. What happens to the lower category trains is only to be imagined. Then there are the frequent dharnas and demonstrations whose first target is the Indian railway tracks, thereby holding back trains for hours. The addition of dozens of trains every year without laying enough tracks for them is another reason why trains seldom make it on time.
On being asked of more plans, the managing director took the chance and said, "I think we already have covered many of the places, stations and trains, but there is always something to work on. We are adding more vendors for the moment for the existing stations and are increasing the number of trains and stations. Our sincere apologies to those who haven't been able to taste our services yet, but we will soon reach you. At the same, all customers visiting RailTiffin (http://railtiffin.com/) can now check their PNR system and railway reservation seat availability on our website along with other Indian Railways services. We have more plans, and the team will be in touch for the same."
RailTiffin (http://railtiffin.com/) is working on its increased vendor list, but what probably the team is more concerned is the coverage of more trains. For the large stations, they have more than a few choices of vendors in vegetarian and non- vegetarian sections, but for some of the routes, especially the religious ones, there are more options, as well. The company is already doing its bit in offering everything about Indian Railways services on their website, but it remains to be seen how they add more choices and bring more food options.
About Train Food
RailTiffin (http://railtiffin.com/) is one of the leading websites in India offering the choice of ordering food online for trains and stations. They have covered more than 2000 trains and have plans for more in days to come along with coverage of other stations in different parts of the country. Customers of their website can also check for PNT status and railway reservation seat availability for all trains online, as well.