Important Computer Applications Of Railways:
Control Office Automation ( COA):
The train operation over Indian Railways is monitored and checked through a control office located in each division. The charting of train run was done by color pen and a scale with the manual calculation of time, distance and other parameters. With automation implemented, the controller only feeds the timings of passing a station and charting is done automatically. All performance parameters involving punctuality, average speed, GTKM, NTKM and PKM etc. are worked out immediately.
Crew Management System ( CMS):
The crew of a train consists of a Loco Pilot, Assistant Loco Pilot, and a Guard. The crew works a train from station A to station B and then works back the train involving interchange from one division/zone to another. CMS has facilitated complete data management of system from signing on to signing off and all the information on the single click of the mouse.
Passenger Reservation System (PRS):
Countrywide Network of Computerized Enhanced Reservation and Ticketing (CONCERT), based on the state-of-the-art client-server technology, has been installed at all the PRS nodes providing the facility for the passengers to book seats/berths on any train on IR from any location.
PRS inquiry facilities for Customers:
- IR’s Website indianrail.gov.in answers queries regarding Accommodation availability, Current status of wait-listed tickets, Trains available between important stations, Train schedules, Fares etc.
- Gives information about the running status of any train, its expected arrival/departure at/from a station, information about passenger amenities, tourist information and scheduled platform berthing of trains at important stations.
- Mobile phone bases SMS inquiry services on berth availability, waitlisted passenger status, train arrival/departure etc.
Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS):
Unreserved ticketing constitutes a major component of the overall ticketing in Indian Railways. It contributes a large amount of earning for Indian Railways.UTS is the complete solution to provide computerized unreserved tickets to railway passengers from dedicated counter terminals, handheld terminals, smart card, automatic vending machines etc. The back-end architecture is 3 tiered. The 4th tier will consist of ticketing terminals (dump, win terms), ATM m/c, Handheld terminals.
UTS Application is divided into two parts front-end and back-end. The frontend is developed using C++ on UNIX platform. And the backend is Sybase, which is used to store information generated at, front-end and supply input value. The application is divided into modules like ticketing subsystem, fare, and UDM & TDM.
The System is giving the following benefits:
- Computerized unreserved ticket from a predefined cluster of location to any station over entire IR
- Computerized Tickets for MST/QST & platform tickets
- Across the counter cancellation of tickets.
- Correct account of the tickets issued with respect to fare applicable including other charges if any
- Elimination of the possibilities of manipulations and malpractice by providing secure access mechanism by way of access control card.
Parcel Management System:
- Reduction in time for weighing and booking
- Advance loading guidance according to availability of space thereby optimum use of available space and control on overloading
- Prior information about the inward traffic
- Loading according to priority
- Web-enabled to know about latest position of the parcel
- Dynamic Management tool
- Reduction in Claims
Parcel Management System has following modules:
- Booking and delivery Modules
- Loading and unloading modules
- Demurrage and Wharfage calculation
- VP and lease Booking
- Printing of Bar Code Labels on packages and scanning
- On-Line Status and tracking
Computerization of Complaints:
- Registration of Complaints
- All complaints received will be entered into the PC. The registration of the complaint should be done in enclosed proforma which should be printed and should be kept in the booklet form in the office of Dy.SS.
- Same proforma should be available at all other complaint registering points whether it is Refreshment Room or Parcel Office or Goods Office or ASM office, etc.
- Once in a day, the book from these locations should be brought to the computer and all complaints should be entered into the computer.
- Complaints received in Railway Board, Zonal offices or Divisional offices should also be entered into the computer. At a later stage, the scanner can also be procured to reduce the workload for entering the complaint.
- Processing of Complaint
After the complaint has been registered into the computer, three possibilities arise:
If the action is required to be taken by the local supervisor for rectification of the defect or initiation of action, a Job Card should be got printed by the system and the same should be handover to the respective departmental supervisor for action and feedback from him should be taken and entered into the PC.
If the complaint is required to be enquired into by the Supervisor/Inspector, in such a case the complaint should be transmitted to the Divisional office. In the Divisional office, a Job Card for action should be printed and the same should be handed over to the CMI/Complaints for conducting the enquiry and fixing the responsibility, who should give feedback to the Complaint Cell in the Divisional office for updating information. The action should be transmitted to the complaint registering unit.
If the complaint pertains to some other Division/Station, in this case, the complaint should be transmitted to the concerned Division/Station by e-mail for taking necessary action. However, original record must be kept at the forwarding location.The e-mail address with NICNET for stations, divisions, Zonal Railways and Railway Board are given in Annexure ‘A’ (not printed). All units are advised to interact with other unite freely irrespective of protocol in order to quickly settle the grievance case.
The complaints which are received by Railway Board will also be sent directly to Zonal Railways, who should re-direct the same to the concerned division or station immediately initiating necessary action. In the connection, action taken by Division or the station will be transmitted to Zonal Headquarter who, in turn, should update the Railway Board. The reply will be sent from Railway Board only.
When the complaint is received by Zonal Railway, the same should be forwarded to the concerned Division and the Division should re-direct it to the station if considered necessary. After an action is taken either at the station or Divisional level the replies are sent to ZR which will communicate with the complainant.
Complaints which are received directly by Division will be directly enquired by CMI/Complaint or sent to the station if considered necessary. In such case, after an action is taken either by Division or the station, feedback should be updated in the system and the complainant is replied.
When the complaint is received at the station, the complainant will be given an acknowledgment on the spot and as far as possible or within 24 hours after receipt of the complaint by the computer itself and if complaint along with the action taken should be forwarded to the Division for replying the complainant.
Thus, to summarize, Railway Board, Zonal Headquarter, Divisional Headquarter, and stations will all register the complaints and send to the concerned units for taking action who will have the responsibility of taking action and advising the unit where the complaint was originally registered.
General Instructions & Maintenance of Database :
Each unit will maintain the data and statistics in respect of complaints registered, complaints transmitted to other locations, complaints received from other locations for action and feedback on complaints and action thereon etc., and also carry out analysis for initiating larger system charges if required.
All the data about complaints back up file should be maintained and kept on floppies on daily, weekly and monthly basis.If at the time of registering the complaint, the passenger writes in English then the same should be fed into the computer. If the passenger insists to give the complaints in the local language and it is being accepted till now the operator will convert it into English before feeding into the computer. Later on, when scanners are procured, the complaints will be entered into the system by the scanner.
The transmission of the complaints should be instantaneous.Each location should monitor the receipt of inward complaints frequently many times in a day.All replies/feedback should be within 3 days but in case of inquiry within 7 days.
Irrespective of the complaint received at any place, Division will be the basic unit for initiation action on the complaints and be giving the feedback to the unit which has originally registered the complaint.All acknowledgments to complainant must be sent within 24 hours.
Integrated Train Enquiry System (ITES):
The system consisting of both IVRS and Manual Enquiry provisions provides details of accommodation available, the current status of tickets and train running status on dialing number 139 as a local call from anywhere in India. Other parts of IR will soon be covered by the system.
National Train Enquiry System (NTES):
National Train Enquiry System (NTES) has been implemented at a large number of stations on the off-line system of PRS so that late running position of trains can be ascertained. In phase II of the system all devices at the station viz. announcement systems, display boards, face to face inquiry and IVRs are required to be connected to NTES, thus giving a uniform arrival times in all the devices.
NTES server is being connected to a website “www.ntes.indianrail.gov.in”