Even as several trains were delayed or affected by fog in the past few days, the New Delhi railway station was not as crowded this winter as compared to the past few years. The change was the result of a new SMS alert and forecasting system launched by the northern railways (NR) recently, which will notify and send an SMS to a passenger every time a train is delayed or rescheduled.
The SMS alert system was launched in November. The system collects mobile numbers of the reserved passengers from the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and takes information from the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) to send a detailed SMS, informing the passengers when their train is expected to arrive and what the rescheduled time will be.
“This service was conceived by the Delhi division of NR in September and commissioned through the Centre for Railway Information Systems in November, before the onset of fog. Earlier, passengers would arrive at the station according to the scheduled time and this would result in crowded platforms,” said a senior railway official, adding that an alert is sent to the passengers multiple times in a day as well.
The alert system has been aided with a new forecasting algorithm developed by northern railways which monitors the real-time location of a train every hour and factors in the distance and average speed along with factors like fog density to give a time of arrival.
Meanwhile, procuring a wheelchair at the New Delhi station has been made easier by NR with the launch of a new telephone number — 011-23746155 which is connected to the ‘May I help you’ booth at Paharganj — for persons with disabilities. Read More