Food orders under e-catering highest from Kerala-bound trains

Soon, passengers can book eatables along with tickets on IRCTC portal

Food orders under e-catering highest from Kerala-bound trains

That Keralites love their food is a well-known fact. But that they enjoy Biriyani and North Indian cuisine, along with the food of their state, on trains is something new. 

These and other facts have emerged from an analysis of the e-catering services launched recently on five trains under the Bengaluru division of the South Western Railway (SWR). These services are a hit with Keralites, as the trains bound for God’s Own Country clock the maximum orders, followed by Chennai-bound trains.

An official of IRCTC said that so far more than 200 orders have been placed on Kerala-bound trains, especially those passing through Ernakulam. Close to 100 orders were placed on Chennai-bound trains, followed by 70-80 orders on trains starting/terminating from Bengaluru.

So far, the e-catering facility has been introduced on five non-pantry trains under the Bengaluru division, including the Bengaluru City- Kochuveli-Bengaluru City Express, Chamundi Express, Mysuru-Dadar- Mysuru Express, Yeshwantpur- Secunderabad Garib Rath and Bengaluru-Ernakulam Intercity Express.

Officials said talks were on to add more non-pantry trains to the list of those offering e-catering. They said one of the reasons for maximum orders from trains coming from Kerala is their timings, which are more suitable for these services compared with trains starting/ terminating from Bengaluru.

Presently, six stations in the State serve as delivery points for food orders placed with private restaurants for South Indian, North Indian cuisine and even Dominos pizzas.

These are Bengaluru City, Cantonment, Yeshwantpur, Hubballi, Mysuru and Davangere.
IRCTC officials said that in the next two or three months, passengers would be able to book their food orders under e-catering, along with their tickets, through the IRCTC website. As of now, one has to call a toll-free number or send an SMS to 139 or log on to the e-catering website of IRCTC to book food orders which are delivered at their seats in the trains.

However, only those having confirmed online tickets with valid PNR numbers can place orders for food. Those with tickets in waiting list can visit the e-catering website when their ticket gets confirmed or place orders over the phone, said an official.
Officials said they have recommended adding more items to the menu so that passengers have a wider variety to choose from.

IRCTC is making efforts to popularise the e-catering service given that almost 80 per cent of train tickets are now booked online and that too from the IRCTC’s website. Leaflets and pamphlets are being distributed to passengers for this purpose. Stickers of the menu are being pasted on trains currently offering this service, officials said.

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