Wednesday, August 16

Leading food chains to your train seat.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced e-catering on select trains across India, which are bereft of pantry cars. Passengers in some select trains without pantry service can now get food delivered through leading food chains at their seat.

The Himalayan Queen between Kalka and New Delhi via Chandigarh is one of those selected trains. Based on the response to the initiative, the facility would be extended to other trains that lack a pantry. A senior IRCTC official confirmed that Jaipur-Chandigarh Intercity Express and Sainagar Shirdi-Kalka bi-weekly express would soon also be offering the service.

The facility can be accessed through the ecatering.irctc.co.in website, only by those having confirmed tickets. Once they type their PNR number, passengers will be provided the list of stations, vendors and menu from which the food options can be made.

Once the booking is made, a one-time password (OTP) will be sent to the registered mobile number of the passenger, which will be asked by the vendor while delivering the food. Food will be served to the seat number of the passenger at the corresponding station between 6 am and 10 pm only. Payment can then either be made online or by cash on delivery. A minimum order of Rs 60 has to be placed and at least two hours prior to arrival at the selected station. In case a train is running late and reaches the meal delivery station beyond the service time (6 am-10 pm), the delivery of meal is not guaranteed. If food is not delivered to the passenger, full refund shall be made after deducting bank charges.

In addition, emails and SMSes to the passengers and vendors would be sent two hours prior to the scheduled delivery.

Those having an RAC ticket or those who are waitlisted can book their meals through phone (toll-free number 18001034139) or SMS (SMS MEAL<PNR> to 139). For the latter, a customer care agent would call to take the order and money can be paid on delivery of the food in the train.

In case of cancellation of the meal two hours prior to the delivery time, a refund will be provided after deducting Rs 20. In case of non-delivery of food, 1800-1034-139 (toll-free), 0120-4383892-99 (toll) can be contacted.