The Indian Railways is planning to launch an app that will predict the confirmation of waitlisted tickets.

According to a senior official, the prediction will be based on passenger operations and booking pattern data of the past 13 years. The move is part of the Indian Railways’ exercise to revamp its Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, and will help passengers book their tickets faster with easier log-in procedures and navigation. The new revamped website will also solve the issue of ticket-booking gateway getting timed out. There will be new features like recommendation on dates to plan a journey and check the misuse of Tatkal quota for reservations. The new website, according to the official, is likely to be ready by the end of this year.

 “The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the Indian Railways’ software arm, has been asked to develop the application for the Indian Railways, where a user (passenger) will get information about the chances of the waitlisted ticket getting confirmed at the time of booking the ticket on the IRCTC website,” the official said.

At present, similar predictions are being made by private agencies like “Cofirmtkt”, “railyatri”, “trainman” etc, which the official said, are not fully accurate as they do not have the database. The CRIS software, on the other hand, will mine its own historical data of passenger operations and booking patterns and create a complex algorithm for the ticket-booking software.

The official said that around 13 lakh tickets are booked every day against a reserved accommodation of about 10.5 lakh berths across all classes. The official, however, said the prediction cannot be considered as a guarantee that the particular ticket would be actually confirmed and that the app would only give a fair idea, based on authentic data and patterns. The official said it was going to be a challenge to get the right predictions during festivals such as Durga Puja, Diwali, Chhat, etc., as the dates change every year, but experts will try their best to work out a pattern.

The Ministry of Railways, headed by Piyush Goyal, is taking various measures to try and make rail travel the preferred  mode of travel for people.


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