Indian Railways – A better IRCTC alternative to search available seats using IndiaRailInfo.com
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited – IRCTC has updated their User Interface to use AJAX technology a couple of years ago, but still many users feel difficulty in searching for the trains and seat availability. One of the reason could be like you cannot view all the trains availability at one go. Another reason is their website became terribly slow for the past few months and they are not planning for any upgrade. IndianRailway recently started their own online reservation system but shut-downed immediately due to technical snags. Though as of now there is no alternative for making online reservations besides IRCTC, there are couple of alternatives for inquiring berth/seat availabilities. If you are not worrying about the nice looking Interface, One better alternative is IndiaRailInfo.
There is a login screen on the main page. Though it is not mandatory to register or login to use the train search facility, it would give some benefits for registering.You would get the below extra services for registering and log-in to the site
• For login either you can register or login using your existing Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo accounts
• Home Page will show Arrivals/Departures at your chosen Nearest Station.
• Your seniority and reputation will immediately start building.
• Your PNR look-ups and Search history will automatically be maintained.
• You are allowed to participate in Blogs, Chats and PNR predictions. PNR Predictions help you to get the opinion of the experts on the probability of the ticket being confirmed.
• Your Past Chats, Blog Posts, PNR Posts and News Posts will be maintained.
• chak de/Go Live window to monitor Blog Posts in real time.
• Using Trip Diary, you can now live-blog from inside the train.
But as we said, it is not mandatory to register for searching the seat availability.
Enter your source and destination points in the “From station” & “To station” in the box number 1 as shown in the image. Click on the Search button. All the trains passing between those stations would be displayed in the same screen.
Alternatively if you already know the train number or train name, use the box number 2 “enter the train name/number” and click on the Train details or Availability buttons. You can view the Live status of the train by clicking on the Live button. The Live button would show a visual map of the location of the train.
Now, select the date of journey, your preferred class and ticket quota like General, Tatkal etc., and click on “Get Seat Availability” button.
In the above results, keep your mouse over any cell under the Classes table heading to see the available seats instantly. Clicking on any of the row in the above table would reveal more details about the availability.
From the above screen also you can see live status of the train in a Google Map.
There is also a provision to get other peoples opinion on the chances of getting their confirmed ticket, it is purely a prediction of the other members and they give their judgement depending on the season, wait-list number and other factors. If someone is registered, they can blog on their travel experience while in the journey, so that they can get in touch and share their experience with outside world in live.