Your cell phone, I-pad or even you laptop could soon replace a normal train ticket, at least on long distance routes. The Indian Railways has introduced electronic ticketing or M-ticket wherein a virtual copy of the passenger’s ticket and a valid photo identity will be enough while travelling on outstation trains. A passenger has to simply take a screen shot of the ticket and paste it on the screen of a laptop, palmtop or I-pad and show it to the ticket checker while travelling.
For mobile phones, a passenger will need to log in through another version for electronic ticketing that is expected to begin from August. Any mobile phone with an internet facility can be used to download an ‘M-ticket’ application from the Indian Railways’ portal.
The procedure for mobile bookings will entail logging onto the railway website www.indianrailways.gov.in, registering, and using the allotted user identity number (ID) for bookings.
Every passenger will be allowed only a single ticket for six passengers every time he logs in. The facility of booking through the mobile phone will be open all day except between 11.30pm and 12.30 am.
“Booking and payment can be made on the mobile itself and an SMS with ticket details will be sent to the user,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway. The cost of sending this SMS, will be borne by the railways. A service charge of Rs 5 for sleeper and reserved second sitting and Rs 10 for third, second and first class AC coaches.