Indian Railways have launched a new version of TrainEnquiry.com, the site that features train running information in real time and also displays earlier information. But the new site is still in beta and users can still access the older site. All the information provided on the site is collected by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) in near real time (from all over the country) and the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) of the trains is determined by using predictive algorithms.
For those who don't already know, the site enables users to search and find all relevant information about the trains running across the country, including train time table, live running status, and train positions and so on.
When we visited the site, we were greeted with a message that reads: "Trainenquiry.com, an online interface for Indian Railway's National Train Enquiry System (NTES), is preparing itself for a new look and functionality. We are opening this new version for a limited beta, which will lead up to an official release in a few weeks, and you have been selected by the Indian Railways to get a first look at this newly designed site. If you choose to accept this offer, this new version will be activated for your future visits to Trainenquiry.com. You will also have the option to switch back to the older version during the beta phase."
The site has undergone a complete revamp in terms of look and feel, and users can access train information in three easy steps. Most importantly, unlike the earlier version which required users to type in the exact train number to locate it, you may now input the train number or the train name or the source/destination station or a combo of these. So search has become easy and flexible â€“ you need not hunt for the train numbers any more.
Also, the site now features predictive search, which means it suggests trains as you type (just like what Google does for search). Once you have picked the right train from those suggestions, details like current status of the train (on time, delayed, reached destination, etc.), last location and time update, previous two stops & departure timings from there, and the next two stops & the ETA are provided by the site. The information is quite extensive and presented in a sleek, user-friendly manner, compared to the earlier version (see picture below).
The site is powered by Railyatri.in and has been conceptualised and designed by TeamDecode.
Indian Railways have also launched a National Train Enquiry System (NTES) app that offers live status information of more than 8,000 trains. The app comes for free and if you want to use it, just access http://www.trainenquiry.com from your mobile Web browser. If the device is recognised as compatible (a list of supported devices/browsers can be found here), users are automatically redirected to the app, which can be used just like the TrainEnquiry.com site. We have tried it out and it works like a charm.
The site is also available in Hindi and even though it is still in beta, it already had ads (from Rediff, Sulekha.com and others). We must say that this is an interesting upgrade (and a very timely one at that) from the Indian railways and it does make searching for train-running information easier (and fun). If you haven't already done it, give this new version a try and share your feedback with us.