India has one of the largest railway network in the world. Though the network is extensive, the safety, the service and the comfort standards are bad as compared to other countries. Positive being the very low cost of tickets in comparison with Europe and other Asian countries. Negatives being political interference and ham handed short term policy that keep the rail minister n other politicians happy, over any broad long term thinking even if it means inconveniencing passengers, having skewed Railways’ recruitment policy.
The food and the hygiene in railway compartments may be wanting at best pathetic at worst, standing in big queues, dealing with uncooperative staff, and the touts is even worse. But nothing beats the toilets…
Most people even after the shortcomings of the Indian railways, prefer using it over the now booming short distance national and private airlines.
But one thing is for sure – for the tech saavy customer, its Website linked to the fully networked Passanger Reservation System (PRS completed in Apr 1999) , is as some call it – World best! . From 8 to 8 u can at a click of a mouse get train number, station code, uptodate availability, PNR and a lot more stuff.
Railways had started its ticketing site and online booking in Aug 2002 . The scheme was not very popular as the extra charges levied were high and u had to collect the ticket at major stations personally or wait for them to be sent by courier, defeating the whole purpose.
Things are now changing. Once u register ur details at the IRITC site, u can book ur ticket and take a print out of ur eticket instantly. Not only that they support multiple payment gateways .This i must say is the biggest improvement at the IRITC site , from the old method of online ticketing , where they used to send u the ticket by courier.
Payment gateways supported:
|1.||ICICI Payment Gateway (for Master / Visa Credit cards issued by any bank)|
|2.||ICICI Bank Direct Debit|
|3.||HDFC Bank Direct Debit|
|4.||IDBI Bank Direct Debit|
|5.||Citibank Debit card|
|6.||Bank Of Punjab Direct Debit|
|7.||Oriental Bank Of Commerce Direct Debit (At select branches of OBC)|
|8.||UTI Bank Direct Debit|
|9.||State Bank of India Direct Debit|
|10.||Centurion Bank Direct Debit|
|11.||Punjab National Bank Direct Debit|
|12.||ABN Amro Bank Direct Debit|
|13.||Corporation Bank Direct Debit|
|14.||Federal Bank Direct Debit|
|15.||Syndicate Bank Direct Debit|
|16.||ITZ Cash Direct Debit|
|17.||Union Bank Of India|
|22.||State Bank of India Debit Card|
|23.||HDFC BANK Debit Card|
|24.||Bank of Rajasthan|
|25.||Bank of India|