Making your train booking and then getting a confirmed ticket doesn’t spell the end of the journey. Up until you reach your preferred destination as per schedule, a lot still rides on your railway booking and the ticket you hold. To make the passenger, and their relatives' and friends' lives easy, there are services provided by the Indian Railways and other private parties to give those awaiting your visit a live update on your train running status. And it is truly basis your train’s actual departure time, and where it is currently stationed, can you get a sense of whether or not it is going to arrive at the desired destination on time.
Here, we try to simplify the science behind the live train running status, and how it is nothing short of a godsend for family and relatives of a passenger travelling on the given train.
An insight on the current position of the IRCTC train, its actual departure time vis-a-vis its touted departure time, the stations and distance it has covered till now, and when is it expected at the next prominent station, and accordingly provide an expected arrive time to the destination station.
Now, there are various sources from which you can track the current train running status.
Go on the official website of CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems), and you will land on the National Train Enquiry System page. Click on the tab ‘spot your train’. There you need to enter either the train name or number and hit search. It will display all information on the boarding/arrival stations, followed by arrival and departure time from every single station the train has passed, and the total distance covered by the train so far. It is a great way to know if your train is on track, and how far until it gets to the final destination. You can even check the average delays, by clicking on the tab by the same name and entering your train name or number. It will show you the average arrival and departure delay at each station the train passes through, and in the end give you an estimated assessment. For instance, the New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express starts from New Delhi and passes through Kanpur Central, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhaya Jn, Gaya Jn, Dhanbad Jn, Asansol Jn, and Durgapur before finally arriving into Sealdah. You can get the average arrival and departure delays at each of these stations.
RailYatri is a popular travel app on railways providing a platform to make an enquiry on the train schedule, its live running status, and its expected time at the desired destination. The app using an analytic technology makes intelligent predictions on the arrival, departure and movement of the train. In order to do this, it makes use of the passenger’s mobile GPS and makes predictions on delays, if any, position of the coach, platform number, and a bit about the train’s history in terms of its timeliness. To get the requisite information, you need to check the ‘last reported location’ and then the ‘estimated time of arrival’ at the next prominent station. Also, the update on higher category trains is more frequent than passenger trains.
You need to choose from a host of online platforms, or the government-backed CRIS website to get answers on your train running status. For instance, you are travelling from New Delhi to Kolkata on a Sealdah Rajdhani (train no. 12314), then all you need to do is enter your train number to locate the said train. The corresponding page displays the start date of the journey then goes on to show the current status of the train, the station it is at, if it is late, and by how many minutes/hours is it delayed. You not only know the station name, for instance, Kanpur Central, but also the platform the train is on. This includes the total distance covered by the train thus far.
This is equivalent of live train status. In order to check your train running status live, open the National Train Enquiry System maintained by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). For instance, you want to track the New Delhi to Howrah-bound Poorva Express (12304). Go into the ‘spot your train’ tab and enter the train name or number. It is always a better idea to enter the train number. The search will display the train name, its category whether superfast, passenger or Rajdhani, then the scheduled arrival and departure time. Underneath is a list of stations the train is expected to cover in its - in this case, two-day journey. Here it will show you at what time it arrived at a particular station, for example, at 19:13 at Aligarh, and this information will be followed by its departure time from Aligarh at 19:15 hours, and the total distance covered until then, which is 139 kilometres. You also get to see all the ensuing stations the train traverses through such as Tundla Junction, Kanpur Central, Etawah, Allahabad Junction etc. before trundling into Kolkata’s Howrah Junction. And it is an ideal way to identify your train, and how far you are from the subsequent station or the main destination.
This typically happens in two scenarios.
1. When the train you have queried for doesn't run on the given date.
2. You have entered the train number, or perhaps name, incorrect.
While it is fantastic to be on top of your live train status, be apprised of the fact that in the course of their run trains do recover time. And as a result of this, the actual delay in the subsequent stoppages might be less than the estimated delay, affecting the train running status as reported from the last stoppage station. Ideally, you must check the live train running status close to the estimated arrival time, because only then will you have a more accurate assessment.
The north Indian railway network is more adversely affected with the setting in of early morning and late evening fog with the advent of winter. This can bring down the visibility to as little as a kilometre, and needless to say it affects the average train speed. Trains are often halted due to heavy fog conditions, and can cause unexpected, and sometimes indefinite, delays till the situation improves, and the weather is again conducive for the train to continue its onward journey. Also, the signaling system of Indian Railways is not electronic as of now, and owing to fogs the driver has difficulty viewing the signal. Besides, most train cancellations and rescheduling are rampant in these months.
Let’s look at a few FAQs on the matter.# What is NTES?
NTES stands for National Train Enquiry System, and this is managed by the government-based Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). On the NTES website you can check your live train status provided you have the correct train name or number. It lets you spot your train, and then gives you a detailed account of the stations covered thus far, the actual arrival and departure time from each of the stations, including the distance covered, till it gets to its final destination. You can even check train schedules here, aside from trains between stations, trains cancelled, rescheduled and diverted, and average arrival and departure delays at each station of a given train, and information on heritage trains, special trains and fog affected trains.#How can I get train running status through SMS?
For an enquiry regarding your train arrival and departure status, you can SMS ‘AD
The top eight high priority trains of the Indian Railways include:
- Rajdhani Express (Mumbai Rajdhani Express, Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, Howrah Rajdhani Express)
- Shatabdi Express (New Delhi Habibganj Shatabdi Express, Lucknow New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Bangalore Chennai Shatabdi Express)
- Duronto Express (Pune Howrah Duronto Express, Sealdah New Delhi Duronto Express, Mumbai New Delhi Duronto Express)
- Tejas Express (Mumbai CST-Karmali Tejas Express, New Delhi-Chandigarh Tejas Express, Lucknow Junction - Anand Vihar Terminal Tejas Express)
- Garib Rath Express (Pune Nagpur Garib Rath Express, Sealdah Ranchi Garib Rath Express, Jabalpur Mumbai Garib Rath Express)
- Double Decker Express (Howrah Dhanbad Double Decker Express, Goa Mumbai Double Decker Express, Mumbai Ahmedabad Double Decker Express)
- Jan Shatabdi Express (Raigarh Gondia Jan Shatabdi Express, New Delhi Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express, Patna Ranchi Jan Shatabdi Express)
- Superfast Express (Sampark Kranti Express, Mahanama Express, Swarna Jayanti Express)