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Role of Information Systems in Indian Railways

Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION3INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE INDIAN RAILWAYS4LEVELS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS6NEED OF CRIS71.Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS)82.Passenger Reservation System (PRS)113.National Train Enquiry Service (NTES)134.Booking Of Tickets On The Internet145.Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS)156.Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)177.Office Automation & E-Working Group (OEAW)19Challenges faced by Railways22FUTURE TRENDS IN IT IN INDIAN RAILWAYS24References24

INTRODUCTION

Indian Railways is a Department of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Railways, and is tasked with operating the rail network in India. The Ministry is headed by a cabinet rank Railways Minister, while the Department is managed by the Railway Board. Indian Railways is not a private corporate body; however, as of recently, IR has adopted a corporate management style.Indian Railways has a total state monopoly on India's rail transport. It is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting seventeen million passengers and more than two million tons of freight daily. IR is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.6million employees.The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country; the routes cover a total length of more than 63,327km (39,500miles).]As of 2008, IR owned about 225,000 wagons, 45,000 coaches and 8300 locomotives and ran more than 18,000 trains daily, including about 8,984 passenger trains and 9,387 goods trains.Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. Indian Railways operates both long distance and suburban rail systems.Todays Business Challenges for the Indian Railways Increased operational efficiency Improve productivity from existing systems Streamline and optimize business procedures Responsiveness to constituents Create end-to-end visibility into the business Make the information accessible and actionable Adaptability to change Re-act quickly to threats and opportunities Turn IT into a competitive business asset

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE INDIAN RAILWAYS

Indian Railways has been a pioneer in the use of IT in India. IT was first adopted in the 1960s, when computerized passenger and freight revenue accounting, payroll and inventory management were introduced using IBM 1401 computers placed in zonal data centers. Later on, notable success has been achieved in the form of the passenger reservation system (PRS) in the mid eighties, and its subsequent enhancement to a fully networked application. The freight operations information system (FOIS) is currently under implementation. It will greatly change the way freight train movement and goods consignments are monitored in the Indian Railways.

HistoryData processing centers were created way back in the 60s. Also the legacy systems like Pay roll systems, inventory management and operating statistics were involved. These systems involved high processing of information. The applications evolved but the functionalities remained the same. There were many attempts to create Human Resource Management, MMIS and office applications for automation.But the problems were aplenty, as upgrading systems with newer technologies was very difficult. The older platform used by the legacy systems didnt integrate well with new applications using new platforms.

ObjectiveA large complex Infrastructure System such as the Indian Railways can benefit greatly from the intelligent use of IT.Objectives of using Information Technology in Indian Railways can be classified as: Freight revenue enhancement Passenger revenue enhancement Improved and optimized service

Two Fold Role of IT IT provides the means for increasing the efficiency of the Indian Railways. There are two different roles of IT in an organization.ROLE 1: An information highwayIn this role IT provides information across the organization where and when required, through a number of standard applications that allow capture of information at the point of generation and then dissemination of the captured information.ROLE 2: A Personal Productivity ToolIt is a tool for increasing productivity at all levels. Several pre-packaged applications like Office suites, website management, e-mail etc. fall into this category.

Roadmap for IT in RailwaysFive year periodStageDescription

Period 1:2005-10AutomationThe automation of the existing functional areas of railways. Examples are PRS and FOIS. By 2010, process automation will be by and large complete.

Period 2:2010-15SynergyIn synergy stage the separate systems put in place will begin to interchange information amongst them and this information interchange process will be automated by the end of this period.

Period 3:2015-20Global AcceptanceThe databases across the organizational network will find increasing acceptance as authentic sources of information.

Period 4:2020-25IntegrationA total revamp of IS built in the last twenty years. It will include forecasting, modeling etc.

This table essentially helps us to understand the manner in which the Indian Railways is adopting IT. And tells us which phase it is currently in. This provides better understanding of the current projects in motion. It outlines the larger strategy and goal that they are part of. This sustained strategy implies that the Indian Railways understands the need of using IT in making its operations more efficient and profitable.LEVELS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

The Railway information systems were categorized into various levels. Each level has its own importance and a strong base is required at lower levels to support the higher level systems. The basic idea is that for each organizational level information system support must be provided. Level No:LevelType of SystemDescriptionExamples

1OperationalTransaction processing systemA TPS helps to streamline operating tasks and is primarily for use by frontline staff.PRS and FOIS

2Knowledge LevelOffice Automation SystemSet of tools that enables knowledge workers to streamline their own work.MS Office Suite

Knowledge Work SystemSet of tools that enable skilled workers in specialized jobs to streamline their work.Computer Aided Design(CAD)

3ManagerialManagement Information SystemIt collects information from the base TPS system, collates it and presents it to the management.MIS reports in PRS and FOIS

Decision Support SystemIt provides assistance to managers in taking decisions. Highly summarized data which allows analysis.

4StrategicExecutive Support SystemAssists top management in formulating long term policies and plans.Long Range Decision Support Systems(LRDSS)

NEED OF CRISCentre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) was established in 1986 by the Ministry of Railways at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. It was to be an umbrella organization for all computer activities in the Indian Railways. They were also entrusted with the task of the design, development and implementation of the Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS), along with its associated communications infrastructure. This Centre started functioning from July 1987. It is an autonomous organization headed by a Managing Director. CRIS is mainly a project oriented organization engaged in development of major computer systems on the Railways. CRIS has acquired special knowledge and expertise in the field of informatics. With such rich practical experience, a dedicated team of professionals and its own R&D effort, CRIS aims to be a leader in this fast developing field. Today, CRIS has come a long way with its activities encompassing the entire gamut of design, development, implementation and maintenance of large online applications, such as Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS) and Passenger Reservation System (PRS) of Indian Railways. CRIS approach focuses on new ways of business combining IT innovation and adoption while also leveraging an organization's current IT assets. CRIS works with the Indian Railways to build new products or services and to implement prudent business and technology strategies in today's dynamic digital environment.

Project at CRIS:The followingare the main projectsthat are handledby CRIS:1. Freight Operation Information System (FOIS)2. Passenger Reservation System (PRS)/ Alpha Migration (CONCERT)3. National Train Enquiry System (NTES)4. Booking of Tickets on Internet5. Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS) 6. Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)7. Office Automation & E-Working Group (OEAW)

1. Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS)

Indian Railways have decided not only to perform the traditional tasks of carrying passengers and goods efficiently, but also to change the mindset of working in a closed system. There has been a longstanding demand of the industry for transparency in sharing of information to give the customers an up to date businesslike environment. 1. Continuous cargo visibility has always been viewed as the most critical component of any physical distribution system. FOIS enables freight customers to have instant access to information regarding the current status of their consignments in transit, for just in time inventory. It is a system for management and control of freight movement that also assists managers to optimise asset utilisation. 2. FOIS comprises the Rake Management System (RMS) for handling the operating portion and Terminal Management System (TMS) pertaining to the commercial transactions. TMS has been installed at more than 300 locations and with the availability of infrastructure will cover all major handling points. As of June 2005, about 1500 reporting devices have been commissioned at more than 500 locations of Indian Railways. Railway owned digital microwave communication facilities complemented by channels hired from the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (BSNL) have been used to establish the network. The network is continuously being expanded to meet the growing demand. 3. FOIS has been designed to give strategic advantages to both Indian Railways and its customers. The implementation of the system is envisaged to eventually achieve the following:- Extension of the current business practice of bulk movement in train load formation to piecemeal traffic to increase the market share by clubbing and moving together similar type of stock of "Hub & Spoke" arrangement. Global tracking of consignments in real time whether in rakes or in individual wagons. The insight and pipeline of consignments would be seamlessly available for timely planning and just in time inventory management. Facilitate acceptance of customer's orders, billing and cash accountable from identified nodal customer centres which, may not necessarily be the handling terminals. These facilities could even get extended to customer's premises and along with introduction of e-commerce benefit both by reducing the burden of logistics management.4. The system as implemented up to now performs the following functions: Monitoring of all freight trains indicating their position in computerized territory and their expected time of arrival at destination. Commodity wise flow of freight trains for customers like Power Houses, Refineries, Feritlizers and Cement Plants, Steel Depots and Public Freight Terminals enabling the recipients of consignments to have an accurate forecast of cargo arrivals giving them adequate time to complete preparatory arrangement to handle the cargo. Out bound loaded rakes from the computerized territory are also monitored in the same manner Full particulars of detachments from block rakes are recorded and updated eliminating chances of wagons getting unconnected or missing. Details of rakes/Wagons in various yards, their phase-wise detention in different terminals, eliminating the need for costly manual documentation and tedious retrieval systems and inaccuracies. Managerial reports regarding availability of rolling stock, i.e. wagons and locomotives at any instant of time to plan for their most efficient utilization. With the use of the system there has been a visible reduction in the anxiety levels mental stress and confusion amongst railway customers and its operating staff. The voluminous and repetitive exchange of data on telephones round the clock has now been reduced and is gradually being replaced by minimum data input. The improved work environment has significantly simplified planning and execution of assigned tasks. The system information is being used to club less than train load consignments from different loading stations. The words of appreciation from bulk customers who are being advised through e-mail the status of their consignments, is a clear indication that the anticipated benefits from FOIS have already begun to accrue to the customers. Interactive web based solutions to give customised reports to Railway Board, Zonal Railways and Divisions is in place. 5. FOIS provides tremendous opportunities to both the Railways and their customers, to improve existing business practices and consequently reduce the operating costs while enhancing the quality of service. A full fledged Domestic Terminal Management System for CONCOR is already in place. 6. E-Payment of Freight: A pilot project has been implemented for electronic payment of freight for coal booked for Badarpur Power House from collieries on ECR. Originating point intimates electronically the freight charges due to the bank (SBI). After receipt of "Successful Transaction" message - electronic confirmation from the bank of this transaction confirming the debit from BTPS account, RR is printed at the originating point. It is a synchronous transaction and reply is received within 150 seconds. 7. Future Approach: Design & Development of MIS, Data Ware House & Data Mining capabilities: Provision of MIS reports enabling trend analysis, statistical reports, Data Warehousing and thereby enabling Data mining activities are also envisaged in the future. WEB Enabled reports: It is contemplated to give web access to Railways customers for obtaining information regarding pipeline of their incoming outgoing rakes, details of Closed Circuit rakes and tracking of interplant movements transfers.

2. Passenger Reservation System (PRS)PRS started in 1985 as a pilot project in New Delhi. The objective was to provide ticketing system for reserved accommodation on any train from any counter, preparation of train charting and keeping a proper record of the money received. This was implemented all over Indian Railway later on. With this implementation any passenger can get a reserved ticket from one destination to another station of India Railway from any Passenger Reservation Systems counter of Indian Railways. PRS networking of entire Indian Railways completed in April, 1999. PRS is running currently at 1,200 locations, Deploying 4,000 terminals, covering journeys of 3,000 trains and executing ONE MILLION passenger transactions per day. Internet booking of tickets was started In August 2002. TATKAL has been converted from a separate coach to a normal Quota and enabled for all trains in 2004 Internet booking timings extended to 4:00 a.m. 11:30 p.m. from March 2005. Country Wide Network of Computerized Enhanced Reservation and Ticketing (CONCERT)sThis project involves the integration of five major regional reservation centers. It therefore enables better coordination to improve the reservation process. The major regional centers with all the information for their regions coordinate for better planning and control. This is a complex but comprehensive system which provides for better functioning of the reservation process. IT enables this scale of coordination and such systems rely heavily on a strong IT backbone. Leased lines are predominantly used to connect this system.This system demonstrates high levels of performance. It takes less than one second for a local transaction and three seconds for a networked one. It is capable of providing reservations for 22 hours per day.The large volumes of passenger traffic that the Indian Railways handles makes the PRS a quintessential part of the Railways IT infrastructure.

3. National Train Enquiry Service (NTES)

National Train Enquiry System (NTES) is a centralized information system that provides up-to-date and accurate information to passengers regarding arrival/ departure of passenger trains including expected time of arrival (ETA) of trains. This information is made available through display boards, interactive voice response system, public address system, face-to-face enquiry, CCTV and web site (www.trainenquiry.com). To allow the general public and customer service representatives that respond to train-status requests over the phone to quickly check on each train, Indian Railways deployed five Sybase ASE servers across five geographical zones within the country. The ASE servers download data from a train charting application, and Sybase Replication Server then allows the ASE servers to exchange information bi-directionally in real-time so that each server possesses up-to-date information on all 6,000 trains. Because of Sybases ability to communicate with other heterogeneous database technologies, the ASE servers can then upload information to Microsoft SQL Server that provides train data to the public-facing Web site as well as to four Oracle servers access by Indian Railways call-centre personnel.

Why NTES?

IR has to provide the following information to passengers:

Arrival and departure of passenger trains Platform berthing of passenger trains Facilities available at various stations ( e.g. retiring rooms) Railway Rules To make above information available on internet

The above information is made available to the public through:

Display Boards Interactive Voice Response System ( telephone enquiry) Automatic Announcement System Face to Face Enquiry counters TV display Web Sites

The above information is available at:

Arrival Departure Information - Control Offices Platform Berthing - Stations Other Data - Designated Database Operators

4. Booking Of Tickets On The InternetE-ticketing initiative is critical in the current scenario of rapid growth of internet usage and technologies. This offers customers the convenience of reserving tickets from the comfort of their homes. This is in keeping with the times. The Indian railways are making an effort to use IT for not only higher profitability but also for better customer facilities which will also indirectly lead to higher profits. This is all made possible by IT.

5. Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS)

Punctuality ModuleIn this module the punctuality of trains has been addressed and is called as Punctuality Module. This module was implemented in Feb, 2004. This is running on PRS/NTES network and is on the same hardware of NTES. This module captures the delays involved in train running at interchange points and detention causes for the delays at the divisional level. Zonal client does the responsibility fixing. Based on this input reports are generated for traffic managers. Zonal client does the responsibility fixing. Based on this following types of reports are generated for traffic managers: Railway Punctuality Performance for a date for a Division Movement of Trains Division wise in a Zone Punctuality percentage of Mail/Express Cause wise/Gauge Wise breakup of Lost Trains between dates Division wise analysis of Cause of Lost Trains on Date in a Zone Railway Punctuality performance for a date in a Zone Cause wise breakup of Trains lost in a period Summary of Monitored trains daily Run and Lost Section wise/Cause wise analysis for all trains on a date Zone wise/Cause wise analysis for all trains on a date etc

This module will be migrated to the same platform on which Coaching Stock Module will reside to give user friendly browser based forms and reports. This module has been developed on the new platform and is under lab testing.

Coaching Stock Module

This is a web based application and runs on intranet (FOIS network). This module capture all the events done on Coaches during operations (e.g. Attach/Detach/Sick Marking/Made Fit etc) to generate an on line position of Coaching Stock. As all locations are networked and a centralized database is available, this is a utility tool for traffic managers. To monitor the condition and location, status and history of the coaching stock. To monitor the coaching rakes, their locations, arrival departure. To generate stock reports To find Coaches in Foreign Railways To plan special trains To provide data for planning and rescheduling of rakes. To optimize utilization of each coach and timely maintenance (POH) and repairs. For prompt planning for idle coaches and their timely bookings and usage to generate more revenue for the railways. Through mailing and messaging end users may communicate. Coaching Maintenance Module

This module captures the depot activities related to coaching maintenance operations, this is a utility tool for mechanical managers to help them in planning of schedules. It capture broadly following functionalities: Platform and enroute attention module Enroute rolling in and rolling out Brake Power Check, Train watering, Gang booking Washing line and sick line Placement Module including Pit line occupation status, placement advice, Rake fitness and withdrawal advice etc. Depot Maintenance activities including all types of component based maintenance. Material Management which will include Depot stores management, indent flow etc. Staff Module to include muster roll preparation, staff skill development etc. Functional modules for superior management(Divisional, Zonal and Railway Board) This module is having a tight integration with Coaching Stock Module and handshake is done in various events.

Time Tabling Module To maintain a centralized database for all trains of Indian Railways with following attributes. Train Definition, Validity period of the train definition, Days of Run, Train Profile, Train Schedule (List of stations with timings) etc. Giving facility to update the time table through browser based application by all zonal railways at the time of time tabling and providing soft copy for printing of IR Time table. Simulating the suitable timings for running of all kinds of trains. Simulating the best available path for planning a train keeping in view all variables.

6. Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) More than 1.2 crore Rail passengers travel in unreserved coaches and trains every day and thus form the bulk of rail users. For this category of passengers Railways have introduced the facility of Computerised Unreserved Ticketing System. It was initially provided at 10 stations of Delhi area in the first stage as a pilot project on 15 August 2002. Another 13 stations of Delhi area were provided with UTS counters in the second stage on 2nd Oct, 2002. It has since been extended in an integrated manner to more than 180 stations all over the country. UTS system has been planned to take over the Printed Card Tickets or tickets issued by self Printing Ticket Machines gradually.UTS will provide the facility to purchase Unreserved Ticket 3 days in advance of the date of journey. A passenger can buy a ticket for any destination from the UTS counter for all such destinations which are served by that station. The cancellation of tickets has also been simplified. Passengers can cancel their tickets one day in advance of the journey from any station provided with a UTS counter. On the day of journey, the ticket can be cancelled from station from which the journey was to commence. Indian Railway is constantly looking for new ideas to simplify and streamline procedures for the convenience of passengers. In this endeavor they have introduced several path breaking technologies on the Railway system over the years. These technical innovations have included the computerisation of reserved passenger tickets amongst several other facilities for passengers. The legacy of the 150 years of railways in India is not only filled by the memories of the steam run trains puffing over the countryside, it is also of cardboard tickets, one for the fare and the other for reservation and of course, the memories of sending telegrams for return reservation to the station master from where one was to begin the return journey. With the introduction of the computerisation of reserved tickets, these memories have been relegated to the past. It is now considered to be a basic minimum requirement to acquire confirmed reservation for traveling, at one's convenience and proceed on a journey carrying a confirmed ticket for the return journey. This has been achieved only in the last quarter of the last century. In addition to this facility, unreserved tickets will continue to be available through the manual system and the Self Printing Ticketing Machines, wherever such facilities are available. With the introduction of this system, the Railways will also benefit in several ways. These are: Keeping pace with the latest technology Encouraging passengers to purchase their tickets in advance To have online accountable of tickets sales. To have a rational analysis of the demand of passengers on various routes in advance, so as to augment trains as per requirement.

Advantages for Passengers: Reduced queue length Enable advance planning of unreserved journey also Reduced crowds at booking offices and stations, making ticket purchase more comfortable Allow Indian Railways to plan extra trains and coaches as per trend of sales registered in the system. Unreserved itinerary planning possible, tickets available from any station to any station.

7. Office Automation & E-Working Group (OAEW)Following are the sub components under OAEW: E Working System (Electronic file Movement and Tracking) Comprehensive Payroll Processing System for DLW Varanasi Financial Accounting System (FAS) for CRIS Material Management Information Systems Railway Budget Compilation System (RBCS) Vigilance Software System (VSS)

E - WORKING SYSTEM is a web-based application that provides for automation of the functions of all the departments / offices. It provides an effective electronic office management system that encompasses diverse business requirements like File Management, Document Management, and Knowledge Management. It provides a user-friendly intuitive interface for the users to accomplish the various tasks.

Key Features for File Movement and Tracking Integration with a scanning solution for scanning of documents, adding remarks and filing into electronic files. Creation, Movement and Tracking of electronic files. Provision to add notings to file. Support for confidential documents. An inbox for each user containing his pending tasks. Alerts and Reminders for overdue tasks for a user. Secret Code protected critical functions like sanction etc. File Viewer and Document Viewer. Role based access to all the functionalities.Interdepartmental Processes The system provides electronic form based processing for the following processes. All these processes interface with external systems like PRIME, AFRES and MMIS. Leave on Average Pay - helps an employee request for leave on average pay and keep track of earned leave Travel Allowance Bill - helps an employee request clearance of Travel allowance bills Provident Fund advance - helps an employee request an advance on his provident fund. Indent (Non Stock) - helps in generating a request for non-stock materials that are not available in sufficient quantity Tender Committee proceedings - helps in processing tender bid received in response to a tender floated.Payroll System is a comprehensive Bilingual package which generates monthly salary bills including payslips in Hindi. It takes input from different small sub-modules. The modules which it interacts with are as follows: Quarter Allotment Information sub Module Electricity Bill Generation sub Module Leave Accounting Module Incentive Bonus Calculation Module Income Tax Processing PF Account Maintenance Pension Calculation Module WGR & Labour Accounting Module

Financial Accounting System (FAS) is a comprehensive package covering day to day activities, like Registration of different kinds of bills, passing of bills, Generating Cash Abstract etc. which are performed in accounts department daily. After payment of bills through Cash Abstract, vouchers are created at the same time of saving / Confirming of cash abstract. There are options for entering/ modifying Journal Vouchers and Bank Receipt Vouchers also. All these steps create base information which is, then, compiled to create different statutory reports like Cash-Book, and Trial Balance and different other MIS reports/enquiries.

MMIS is a integrated Computerized System for Stores Department of Indian Railways and has been developed using centralized system architecture using J2EE Open Source Environment. This is planned to be implemented on Zonal Data Centres of IR to cater the entire requirement of that Zonal Railways and will primarily consists of the following modules:

Purchase Module: This module caters to the demands sent by various depots and generation of Purchase Order by covering functions like procurement of material, registering indent as a demand, floating of inquiries, receiving of offers, tabulation of offers, placement of orders and post purchase order monitoring.

Finance Module: The Finance Module will be the basic module of the Material Management system, since each and every module is related to it at any given point of time. It comprises the various functions and responsibility of Stores Accounts Branch (SAB).

Depot Module: Depots are warehouse units where the stocking of material regularly needed by Railways is being performed and therefore the module will provide the functionalities for different sections of depot like: Yard Receiving Section Ledger Section Stocking Ward Manufacturing unit if any(Uniform) PL Unit General Section. Sales and Auction Module: Sales and auction module is related with scrap disposals. The condemn material which is of no use in future is sold through Auction, Tender, Direct sale, Staff sale.

Uniforms Module: Uniforms fabrication for Railways is related with functionalities like contract for fabrication of uniforms, tailoring of uniforms.

Railway Budget Compilation System (RBCS) is a package for collecting the budgetary inputs from all the zones/units of the Indian Railways. The package provides for collection of data and building of a database, analysis of demands and pruning of the estimates for inclusion in the budget. Apart from the MIS reports the package leads to printing of the budget documents in Bilingual Hindi and English. The package takes care of both earning and expenditure. Under expenditure, it covers plan as well as maintenance expenditure.

Vigilance Software System (VSS) maintains information about vigilance cases / complaints. This system includes various reports & forwarding letters generated by Vigilance Department & keeping track of Receipt & Dispatch. Main features are: Facility for data searching and No Objection Certificate (NOC) letter generation. Powerful security features to avoid tampering of data. Facility of Audit trail for keeping track of any change in data. Performance appraisal of Chief Vigilance Inspectors (CVIs). Facility to generate Monthly Confidential Demy Official (MCDO).

Challenges faced by Railways

The Large Geographical Dispersion of our country is the biggest challenge for Indian Railways. To get all of the country connected via railways is very challenging indeed. There are so many states and so many stations providing so many applications and platforms to work on. The diversification of these computing platforms is yet another challenge for Indian Railways, to connect the whole of country with railways and railways with IT is very challenging. Also the remote areas provide lot of problems in integrating and to take the technology to such remote areas is very difficult job.

Yet another challenge standing besides Railways is 24*7 operations throughout the year. Even if one entry goes wrong the whole of network will suffer. Also the OLTP applications support public services is another challenge for the Indian railways.

Indian railways is using enterprise computing applications to carry a plethora of functions. IT is used to carry out most of its functions. It uses enterprise management for strategic management, financial accounts, managerial accounting etc. The railways has a CRM in place to cater to the needs of the customer and have increased customer focus. PRS and FOIS systems are examples of IT systems involved in the operational activities of the railways. For maintenance of inventory, rolling stock maintenance etc, IT systems are in place. These systems make all these processes and functions efficient. Beyond this, IT is also used at higher levels for decision support. These systems offer business support.

FUTURE TRENDS IN IT IN INDIAN RAILWAYSWith new age Ticketing Solutions added value is being provided to the customer. Examples of such ticketing solutions are centralized, stand-alone, Mobile, Smart Card, Self Service, Internet etc. An online e-enabled freight management system provides up to date information of all freight related activities. Also the integrated revenue account system ensures accurate recording of financial transactions and data. Train charting and control systems are used to efficiently make schedules and keep track of the various operations. The new age RFID tag based Wagon/parcel Systems automate the process of recording parcel information. The integration of the railway and railway station systems ensures accurate information being available at stations thus enabling better coordination. Safety is being given high priority and there is a possibility of introducing Global Positioning Systems(GPS) and embedded systems to ensure better security related information is made available. GIS based track maintenance systems are being considered for the future. Integrated material management systems ensure better management and less wastage of material.

References1. www.indianrail.gov.in2. www.irctc.co.in3. www.irfca.org4. www.cris.org.in