India is home to over 1.3 billion people. That’s more than 17% of the entire world’s population. This incredible uptick in population has serious consequences, overcrowding, finding living spaces, finding work, finding a seat in a public transport system, and the list goes on. But the Indian Railways have made travel a bit of an easy prospect, as with over 800 million passengers using the railway system in a calendar year, it is the single most widely used public sector service in India. Anyone, rich or poor; young or old, has access to and can use the railway services easily.
With such an astounding number of passengers influx, there arises a need to assign a seat and place for every passenger to use it. In an already overcrowded country, finding a seat itself is a big task. To ease the hassle on travel, the Indian railway enquiry seat availability system called a PNR or ‘Passenger Name Record’ logs in the details of the passenger in the Indian Railways database. It does require one to book a ticket in advance since its demand is always very high. Since it is hard to index information based on names alone, the software assigns a number to each passenger and all the details of a passenger including his/her name, age, gender, etc. are stored in a centralized system called IR-CRS.
Features of Indian railways
The Indian Railways since its establishment in 1845 has connected almost every single point accessible in the country barring a few. It transverses across the length and breadth of India and even the remotest locations offering a convenient travelling solution to people from all walks of life. With a host of comfortable features and a multitude of stops, one can board a train from anywhere in India and reach the desired destination. Trains offer an experience in travel unparalleled by any other. There is a myriad of trains that go through national parks, heritage sites and across lakes and rivers, offering breathtaking sites and awe-inspiring sceneries. Many writers and filmmakers have even taken inspiration from the beautiful sites and have made it a part of the stories that they tell. And, it continues to help and inspire the younger generation of travellers who look to take trains over aeroplanes, in order to bask in the glorious views that the journey offers.
Is it actually worth taking a train?
Even though the journey may take longer due to the numerous stops that a train goes through, it is all worth the travel, as the comfort and relaxation a train journey offers helps clear and open up the traveller’s minds. There are certain problems with the railway system like public-sector transportation, like dirty platforms and tracks, delayed scheduling of trains, etc. and the services are working tirelessly to improve on these facets day and night. Most journeys culminate by giving passengers a breath taking insight into the many facades and contrasting cultures that thrive and exist throughout India. As T.S. Eliot once said, “it is the journey that matters, not the destination.” This sums up the Indian Railways in quite a simple and beautiful manner.