Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched a station based e-catering service that will enable passengers to order meals of their choice while travelling. With just a phone call, or online booking, passengers can now place an order for a meal that will be served right at their seats inside the train.
IRCTC’s e-catering service, ‘Food on Track’, was started with 28 non-pantry car trains on a pilot basis. Based on the positive response received from passengers, the service was recently extended to 1,516 trains.
Picture for representation. Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Additionally, with the view of giving more passengers a choice to order food from leading private food chain companies, IRCTC has now extended the service to some major stations as well. This has been done to provide more food options to passengers in trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani, which already have pantry cars. The service has been extended to 45 stations across the country, including New Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai Central, Chennai Central, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Ahmedabad.
For this, IRCTC has tied up with various service providers, vendors and food aggregators. Tenders has been invited from companies like KFC, McDonald’s, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Nirulas, Sagar Ratna, Wangs Kitchen, Sarvana Bhavan, Subway, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Kelloggs and more. Besides these, travellers can also access the IRCTC-managed food plazas, Jan Ahaar (budget food) and other fast food units online.
“Now, passengers travelling in trains with or without pantry car passing through these stations can order their food from big food chain companies,” a senior railway official told The Times of India.
Passengers will have the option to pre-order their meal on the e-catering website or the e-catering call centre. And the payment can be done either online or after delivery.
So, all that people with confirmed tickets have to do is to visit their website, type the PNR number, and they will be provided with a complete list of stations, vendors and food options. Passengers can also call at 0120-2383892-99 or at the toll-free number 1800-1034-139. Other than these, one can also send a message to get more information – SMS MEAL<PNR> to 139.
“Food prices are to be market-driven but we are focused that the food items supplied are hygienically packaged in eco-friendly, bio-degradable take-away packets and usage of plastic for packaging must be minimal if not totally eliminated. In fact, we will conduct regular checks of stations to ensure that meals items are provided to the passengers,” said Debashis Chandra, IRCTC group General Manager, East Zone.
If the vendor fails to deliver the food to the passenger, a full refund, minus bank charges, will be made.