Role of Information Systems in
Table of Contents
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE INDIAN RAILWAYS .................................................4
LEVELS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS ...................................................................................................6
NEED OF CRIS ...................................................................................................................................................7
1. Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS) ...........................................................8
2. Passenger Reservation System (PRS) ................................................................................11
3. National Train Enquiry Service (NTES)...............................................................................13
4. Booking Of Tickets On The Internet .....................................................................................14
5. Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS) ....................................................15
6. Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) ....................................................................................17
7. Office Automation & E-Working Group (OEAW) ...........................................................19
Challenges faced by Railways ...............................................................................................................22
FUTURE TRENDS IN IT IN INDIAN RAILWAYS ............................................................................24
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 1.6 million employees.
The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country; the routes cover a total length
of more than 63,327 km (39,500 miles).]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.
Today’s Business Challenges for the Indian Railways
Increased operational efficiency
o Improve productivity from existing systems
o Streamline and optimize business procedures
Responsiveness to constituents
o Create end-to-end visibility into the business
o Make the information accessible and actionable
Adaptability to change
o Re-act quickly to threats and opportunities
o Turn IT into a competitive business asset
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE INDIAN
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.
Data processing centers were created way back in the 60’s. 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 didn’t integrate well with new
applications using new platforms.
A 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 highway
In 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 Tool
It 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 Railways
Five year Stage Description
Period 1: Automation The automation of the existing functional areas of
railways. Examples are PRS and FOIS. By 2010,
2005-10 process automation will be by and large complete.
Period 2: Synergy In synergy stage the separate systems put in place
will begin to interchange information amongst them
2010-15 and this information interchange process will be
automated by the end of this period.
Period 3: Global Acceptance The databases across the organizational network will
find increasing acceptance as authentic sources of
Period 4: Integration A 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 Level Type of Description Examples
1 Operational Transaction A TPS helps to streamline PRS and FOIS
processing operating tasks and is primarily for
system use by frontline staff.
2 Knowledge Office Set of tools that enables MS Office Suite
Level Automation knowledge workers to streamline
System their own work.
Knowledge Set of tools that enable skilled Computer Aided
Work workers in specialized jobs to Design(CAD)
System streamline their work.
3 Managerial Management It collects information from the MIS reports in
Information base TPS system, collates it and PRS and FOIS
System presents it to the management.
Decision It provides assistance to managers
Support in taking decisions. Highly
System summarized data which allows
4 Strategic Executive Assists top management in Long Range
Support formulating long term policies and Decision Support
System plans. Systems(LRDSS)
NEED OF CRIS
Centre 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 it’s 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 following are the main projects that are handled by 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 Internet
5. 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
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
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
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
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
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
This 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 Sybase’s 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.
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)
To make above information available on internet
The above information is made available to the public through:
Interactive Voice Response System ( telephone enquiry)
Automatic Announcement System
Face to Face Enquiry counters
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 INTERNET
E-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)
In 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
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
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 2 nd 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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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 RAILWAY ENTERPRISE COMPUTING
INTEGRATION ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING INDIAN RAILWAY PORTAL
ENTERPRISE Strategic Enterprise Intelligence and Managerial Financial
MANAGEMENT Management Data Accounting Accounting
CRM Market Research PRS Call Centre
OPERATIONS FOIS Crew Scheduling
Engineering Rolling Stock Inventory Infrastructure Asset Life Cycle
Planning Maintenance Management Maintenance Management
BUSINESS Procurement and
Human Resources Cash Flow Real Estate Litigation
Management Management Management
PROCESSING CONTROL OFFICE APPLICATIONS
DATA CAPTURE HAND-HELD
DATA LOGGERS SCADA SYSTEMS
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 RAILWAYS
With 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