New Online Booking Site For Indian Railway

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#16 Aug 30th, 2008, 22:01
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#16
Steven (or anyone!)...

To what extent to Indian railways allow outside sites to access their servers? That is of course, other than by "screen scraping" ie getting the data by pretending to be a human user.

I guess any site that is giving train schedule information must be doing so from the Indian Rail server? But I understood that they were never going to let anyone external process bookings for them --- or did that mean nobody smaller than Thmas Cook?
#17 Aug 30th, 2008, 23:09
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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post To what extent to Indian railways allow outside sites to access their servers? That is of course, other than by "screen scraping" ie getting the data by pretending to be a human user.
No idea, I've seen maybe 5 or 6 websites accessing date from the Indian Railway server, but I'm sure there'll be more.

I've noticed a new line appearing on the availability page, this page can be accessed by other websites who use Indian Railways server, I get the feeling the railways aren't happy about something, the message reads....

Warning: No one is authorised to make any type of commercial usage like putting web advertisements or SMS service and Reproducing/Transmitting/Storing in its database, any content of www.indianrail.gov.in website, without prior written permission from Indian Railways. Violators will be severely prosecuted and may be paraded naked on the front of Rajdhani trains.

(OK, I added the last 11 words. )

Quote:
But I understood that they were never going to let anyone external process bookings for them --- or did that mean nobody smaller than Thmas Cook?
I was told (off the record) that they were looking to get a sole deal with an individual large company, but the company mentioned wasn't Thomas Cook.
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#18 Aug 30th, 2008, 23:29
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#18

See this site

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Steven (or anyone!)...

To what extent to Indian railways allow outside sites to access their servers? That is of course, other than by "screen scraping" ie getting the data by pretending to be a human user.

I guess any site that is giving train schedule information must be doing so from the Indian Rail server? But I understood that they were never going to let anyone external process bookings for them --- or did that mean nobody smaller than Thmas Cook?
This particular site http://erail.in/ ...

has the best user interface and convenient search options.

It obviously fetches results from the official website, that too the original page without any change.
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#19 Aug 30th, 2008, 23:41
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#19
Thanks Steven. I didn't mention your name in the "I was told" because... well, discretion is better than... whatever

I've been using erail too for availability, although I find the design confusing, one sort-of gets used to it!
#20 Aug 31st, 2008, 00:06
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post
I've been using erail too for availability, although I find the design confusing, one sort-of gets used to it!
erail is excelent when you get used to it, and it really becomes wonderful when you want to look for options on one of the really busy routes as you can click on many different things to change the way your options are listed.

There's a few things I'd like to see on the site, but I won't moan, as I've not asked the owner about them yet, and he's normally happy to try any new suggestions, or give good reasons why they can't be changed.

I'd love to see the 'scroll over' departure station and train numbers that the official website uses, when you scroll over the departure station, you're shown where the train starts it's journey, and when you scroll over the train number, you're told when the train will run, useful if it's a holiday special train.

I'd love the owner to sort out the problem with some passenger trains not appearing, it's really frustrating knowing these trains aren't showing. erail isn't the only site that has this problem, but erail's owner is good at correcting these problems, I hope he can, because erail continues to get better and better, and I never thought I'd say this, but I prefer it to the official website, if only those pass trains could be sorted out.
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#21 Aug 31st, 2008, 01:12
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#21
Ever the sceptic I checked the "ABOUT" page at the cook website and found this press release:
http://www.thomascook.co.in/corporat...gonWebsite.pdf

So.. it looks like a collaboration which puts my mind at ease that Indian Railways will actually honor the ticket, and its not someone screen-scraping and consolidating - RyanAir balks at honoring tickets bought at price comparison websites, hence my caution. Elsewhere I found that using it costs INR 8 more for sleeper class tix. Anybody else got more data of the cost of using them ? Because of course there's a cost - no such thing as a free lunch and all that.

This only bypasses the IRCTC front end - . The IRCTC no doubt provides a classic web service, using SOAP no doubt. I started hunting for the WSDL before I reminded myself - I'm OUTTA this biz - walk away, skk, walk away slowly.

Perhaps, an IT professional, still active in the biz can oblige with the WSDL ?

-skk
#22 Sep 7th, 2008, 20:51
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#22

I spoke too soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPI View Post Thanks for the welcome Steven,

I agree with you.

I personally never ever have had a problem with IRCTC bookings or cancellations in the last few years. From what I have read in the forum so far is that other people have had problems in bookings, so if the ThomasCook website works well, it would be a welcome alternative to IRCTC.

Also,I would like to thank you for all the information you have provided about Indian Railways on this forum.I have read some, hope to read more.
On the 4th, I tried to book a 2Ac ticket on the Mumbai Rajdhani for the 5th. They had 9 tickets in the Tatkal quota. Six attempts with two different credit cards failed. The same thing happened at IRCTC. While all this was happening, the availability was going down. When the wait list showed, I gave up.
#23 Sep 17th, 2008, 13:17
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#23
Yes surely i agree with you and as i talked with the creator of the erail team and they promise me within one week you will have passanger trains also in erail site .
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post erail is excelent when you get used to it, and it really becomes wonderful when you want to look for options on one of the really busy routes as you can click on many different things to change the way your options are listed.

There's a few things I'd like to see on the site, but I won't moan, as I've not asked the owner about them yet, and he's normally happy to try any new suggestions, or give good reasons why they can't be changed.

I'd love to see the 'scroll over' departure station and train numbers that the official website uses, when you scroll over the departure station, you're shown where the train starts it's journey, and when you scroll over the train number, you're told when the train will run, useful if it's a holiday special train.

I'd love the owner to sort out the problem with some passenger trains not appearing, it's really frustrating knowing these trains aren't showing. erail isn't the only site that has this problem, but erail's owner is good at correcting these problems, I hope he can, because erail continues to get better and better, and I never thought I'd say this, but I prefer it to the official website, if only those pass trains could be sorted out.
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#24 Sep 10th, 2011, 22:30
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#24

railway online booking

We were told while in India that the agents and online booking for railways is closed as individual book and dont use it or something to that effect.

We went to one of the local agents and that was what they told us a number of times so we had to use the bus facility.

This was in March of 2011
Is it still so or has the rule now changed so that we can use the many online booking agents to reserve a seat.

Appreciate your help.
Thank you
#25 Sep 10th, 2011, 22:51
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#25
No online booking agent was closed or prevented from booking. There has been a change (quite old actually, not something done in March 2011) in that they are not allowed to book between 08.00 and 09.00 IST. Other times they can.

Numerous people (foreigners included) book on cleartrip.com.
#26 Sep 10th, 2011, 22:57
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#26
Thank you Narendra.D for you help.

We went to the agent around 11 am and thats what they told us also the hotel who normally has an agency told the same as well.

Anyway we are happy to hear we can do online booking.
Thank you
#27 Sep 11th, 2011, 05:45
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#27
Quote:
went to the agent around 11 am and thats what they told us
Did they by chance sell you the bus ticket.?
#28 Sep 11th, 2011, 21:19
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#28
edwardseco Yes they sold us the bus ticket.
Thank you
Anyways now one can buy online so we are happy.

Thank you to all for the kind replies
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