Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, popularly known as IRCTC, has come up with a new version of its train booking app. The new app is called IRCTC Rail Connect and replaces the older app which still shows up on the app store (it redirects users to the download page of the new app).
The new app’s main highlight is the simple interface and some mobile friendly features. It is free to download but is currently available only on the Google Play Store.
The first time you open the app, the main interface shows options such as Train Ticket, Book Meal and Air Tickets. Train Ticket is the main feature of the app.
Extra layer of security
The first time users log in, the app asks them to set a four digit pin number which can be used every time they log in. This four-digit number is unique to that device and will only work with one device at a time. Users can reset the pin in the App settings.
The app looks clutter-free and is free from images. The main page shows the option for new bookings. Once users enter details (destination and date, for instance) the app takes them through the regular booking processes but in a smarter and more user-friendly layout. Instead of opening separate pages for every option, it opens a sub section within the same page allowing users to swipe through all the options in one go. For instance, users can see the number of tickets available for the next six days (in each class) in a horizontal scroll right under the train’s name.
The menu panel is hidden on the left side of the home page and can be accessed by swiping left to right on the home page or tapping on the menu icon at the top of the screen. It shows the user’s previous and current bookings, allows ticket cancellations and provides the option to file TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt) from the smartphone. Earlier users had to do visit the railway station in person for this. The feature was recently added to IRCTC website and is now available on the mobile app as well. Users can get cancellation amounts refunded directly into their bank account.
Is it worth downloading?
IRCTC Rail Connect is an improved and much more user friendly platform than its predecessor. It loads faster, is easy to use and doesn’t bother users with repetitive banner advertisements. Travel aggregator apps such as MakeMyTrip or ClearTrip which offer multiple services including train ticket bookings under a single umbrella are more graphic intensive and require a fast internet connection to run smoothly. For people with patchy internet connections, the IRCTC Rail Connect may be ideal.