eRail.in : A better way to view Indian Railways data

While the IRCTC can brag about major e-commerce strides, it can definitely use a lesson or two when it comes to usability. One cant help wondering – there simply has to be a better way of doing things.

erailogo.gifEnter eRail.in. They have developed a neat way of presenting the Indian Railways data to the end user. Users can select the origin and destination cities and eRail will display all the trains linking the two cities, the days each train operates and the class of reservation available on each train. Click on the particular train of interest and you can see a detailed listing of the various fares and the various stops th

at the train will make en route. You can also check the PNR status on the site. For obvious reasons, reservations cant be made on the site.

erail.JPG

Its a great idea and I’m guessing the origins lie in the frustration tied to using the ICRTC website.  Kudos to the team behind the effort – thousands of folks must have echoed the same frustration with the ICRTC website. These were the guys who decided to act on it.

I did some digging and found that 5Map is the company behind the site. While on their website also check out the DelhiMap product. A pretty nice mashup of maps and local business listings for Delhi.

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15 comments

  1. This is a great site! The time they take to load data is, of course, often beyond their control since it depends upon the whims and fancies of the IRCTC servers. Nevertheless, very well done.

  2. BTW IRCTC revamped there site recently

  3. praneeth, yes I noticed..But I was still having issues with FireFox..So I’m guessing the UI has changed, but the site still sux.

  4. Kudos to the guys who had developed this. The UI is really cool and its very easy to use.

  5. eRail.In is basically provides static data,u can find this site works even after PRS shutdown there servers also.IRCTC is having very less limitations in implementating the features as it depends more on PRS(CRIS)to fetch the reservation details.comparing eRail.in with irctc is like comparing perfume with pig.

  6. IRCTC will ever remain kings of online railway booking…if not see the “Online Ticket Booking” in site itself.
    Hope developers would be able to resolve the issues in Firefox in next version

  7. erail Site is of no use,data that provides is not dynamic data and there is no facility of online booking..whats the purpose of erail.in shhittttttt

  8. IRCTC is a very big initiative and has become the most successful website in India today. E-commerce was nowhere in India when people started designing IRCTC. They were the one who started from scratch. They provided a web interface for the PRS system, which stores data in open file system. Now, some opportunists are trying to live on this great success of IRCTC. Its always good to encourage new things. But blaming the older initiatives that changed the perspective of e-commerce in India is not healthy.

  9. I am curious as to how eRail.in is getting the data about reservations. I am pretty confident that IRCTC doesn’t expose any API, so is it through webpage scrapping that they fetch the data?

  10. one can clearly identify that erail is purely static data, as it works even after PRS is down.
    moreover nobody should trust it because everyone knows that train timings , days changes frequently.

  11. prakash srivastav

    how can we use erail.in wbsit or tell me the actual link

  12. I would rate this is site in the TOP 5 usefull sites and have been using it for queit sometine . But unfotunately it is not working now.

  13. I think Indian railway should shut down their web sites (all), but specially http://www.erail.in a web site where you can book your ticket.

    This is the worst web site I ever came across. if you think that in place of booking ticket at railway reservation center and wait for hrs in a queue, lets book a ticket online to save all this time, then I will say you are wrong its better to book a ticket at reservation center than a web site.

    First of all this web takes long time to load, then again long time more than a 1-2 min to login, then you need to search your train, there it again takes time…, then you need to select a train and check the availability, if it available then say book ticket and then enter the name of passengers and also identity details of one passenger, then confirm that and then say book, then it will redirect you to payment page and again you need to select different payment gate way and then do the payment… and then take a print , big thing if you do not have a printer connected to your machine then … ??? since there is no option to save the ticket. :( only print
    You must be thinking that above process must be taking not more that 5 min? yes you are right this should not take but since this is a India railway web site it take more time… like for every post back it take more than 1-2 min, so calculate the post backs and multiply it by 1.5 (average) its more than 30 min.

    The most horrible thing I face in this is Session Expiry , I don’t understand what are their session expiry policies, within a min or 2 the session get expire and you need to login again to web site and …. Start you process again from first step (login), means if you are in between the process of confirm the ticket and do the payment if your session get expire or timeout occurs for the post back event then…; you will get a nice Error message and ask you to go to home page where you need to login again and again start the entire cycle.

    Let me tell you in my last 2 years use of this web site I never able to book a ticket without getting any error and in less than 1/2 hr for a ticket.
    Other things I you can notice that the looks are also not so good , see the image quality of the top banner its so bad…

    One more important thing I forgot to mention, this is not a 24 hr service , after 11:00 PM you can not use this web site for booking
    I do not understand where is problem is ? in technology ? server capacity ? or the system architecture? answer is NO.. then ?
    why a big organization like Indian Railway which is own by the Government of India can’t have a simple plain web site where one can book a ticket in 5 min, can search the train easily, can get accurate time table for trains ???
    the Answer is YES they can…
    but only problem is THEY DON’T WANT THAT…

  14. Yes vivek you are right official websites are not up to mark. However, “search multiple stations in a city with a single search”, is not a unique feature http://erail.in/ has been offering this feature for a while. We tested the site http://www.indiantrains.org/ and it worked reasonably well.

    http://www.indiantrains.org/

    I have not seen such a good site which has so many features in a single page. The better way to search Indian trains looks great and it open fast, no pop-up, user friendly. Every information in a single page. This concept is good and some of the features like calendar, train running day has not come in a single website in this reviews. the most important features i have seen in this site that if the user does not know the station code then also he can see all the trains and it is only website which have a drop menu box for the important station from where you can choose the station name and also it has a date calendar from you can choose the date and it show the running day of the train so that you can know which day of the week this train is running. the other most important feature I have seen in this website that it show the train which does not have the reservation coach for the benefit of the user and they are showing the passenger train also which is also not available in any website. This site will enable the users to search train route and compare fares of most of the trains in India.

  15. hey guys i found a new railways website … check out the Indian Railways Passenger Reservation Enquiry Website

    http://www.bharatrail.net

    i think its even better than erail.in

    i found the site neat, cool and fast to use …