The app embraces some of the latest and greatest design fundamentals laid out of Android in it’s recent Lollipop version such as material design and card layout. This gives the app a new and modern look and also allows the user to get additional and related information than what he just asked for such as near by stations, alerts, directions, maps etc.
First look at the app and you can tell that is is not the run of the mill train app with a bunch of menu icons. While the menu is nicely tucked in the slide in left panel, the home screen has a set of cards that are related to your upcoming trips and your location which means that the home screen has different custom cards for every user which is pretty neat.
The other impressive thing about the app is the way it integrates and supplements additional helpful information with basic queries that the user may not have asked for specifically but is sure helpful. You’ll get a sense of this as I describe the features below.
1) Trains Between Stations
It’s a standard search to see a listing of all trains running between two station and see what days of the week they run on. The search results can be narrowed down by days of the week that the train runs on.
2) Time Table
The standard time table comes with some nice bells and whistles. You can view the route of the train on a map. You can also save the time table for offline viewing and save on your data costs. If there are any alerts in the near future related to a particular train such as the Cancellation of the train, New Stoppages being added on the route etc, you see it nice then and there. The time table also lists the platform number for different station on the route. This seems to be crowd sourced information and any user can contribute to this information. This is a nice way to organize a rather unorganized set of data.
3) Seat Availability
Seat Availability comes with this sweet little value added information that can be as helpful as a guiding light in a dark forest. It shows you the ‘confirmation probability’ i.e. the chances of your ticket getting confirmed if you were to book it at the given wait listed status. This can really come in handy when you are weighing your options and given the scarcity of confirmed tickets. The same applies to
4) Fare Calculator
Traditionally, we are used to providing 4-6 different inputs such as Train number, date of journey, class of travel etc to see that final number called total fare. You can take it easy with RailYatri’s own fare calculator. Just provide your train no./ name and see the fare for the entire route. Here, you can easily toggle all your options and the fare is recalculated in a snap. Easy Peasy. Also, it provides you a detail break up of what you are being charged for, as granular as Morning Tea, Breakfast, Lunch etc. Excellent!
RailYatri.in claims to be using their in-house algorithm to predict the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) and claims to be much more accurate than any other source. This they do taking into account the GPS location they’ve received from their 1+ million users around the country, historical performance of the trains and other such information. If this works, this could be path breaking.
2) GPS Train Locator and Speedometer
This is perhaps the most interesting and innovative feature to come out in the app world recently. If you are on board a train, it just takes your location and tells you exactly where you are with respect to the past and next station on your route. This just beats every other source of information out there and is supplemented with other information like distance in kilometer for the stations, status of the trains etc. Similarly, you can also check the speed at which the train is running and how is it with respect to it’s designated speed (too slow, too fast, normal)
3) PNR Status
Just like seat availability, PNR status shows you the confirmation probability (low, medium, high) if you have a wait listed ticket. Other useful information such as seat layouts, basic rail maps of major cities etc. can be found here. The app auto-tracks your wait listed PNR and send you push alerts on every status change. You can also subscribe a few phone numbers to receive PNR update alerts for free.
4) My Trips
This is the umbrella that covers all the other features we’ve covered so far. Simply put, it is an excellent way to organize your train travel and keep it simple. No more scrambling around the menu, remembering your PNRs, switching between apps, typing train numbers. Once a trip is added, you’ve a one-click access to everything you’ll need for managing your trip. You should definitely check it out and you’ll be amazed. The app also auto detects SMS from IRCTC and adds the trip for you. Just another great convenience. You can also share a copy of your trip with your loved ones so that they get the same convenience using the RailYatri app.
Another uniqueness! All kind of travel trivia from places to visits, what to eat, contact numbers for station masters, how to book a retiring room, availability of wheel chairs parking, ancient stories about a place etc. is collectively called RailWisdom. This is again crowdsourced by RailYatri.in and apparently from frequent travelers on a particular route. This just opens up your door to a sea of knowledge and can make up for a good read during your journey. Many of them are accompanied by interesting images and Food Wisdom could be particularly interesting.
RailYatri.in is the only app to include information on local trains for 11 cities which not only includes all the metros such as Mumbai, Kolkata but also a few tier 2 cities such as Ahmedabad, Katra. It allows you to save one or multiple routes (Ex: From home to Work) and consistently shows you the next three upcoming trains for that route. A very handy feature for daily commuters taking local trains to and from work.
Food and Taxi booking:
A great addition to the gamut. This sounds like an end of your woes about crappy pantry food and haggling with auto / taxi drivers. RailYatri.in has partnered with names like TravelKhana for food delivery and Taxi for sure besides other vendors for food delivery and taxi booking respectively. All you have to so it to share your phone number and the vendor call you to provide you required details and book your order. These services are cash on delivery.
IRCTC ticket booking:
Although RailYatri.in doesn’t book the tickets, they still provide a one click access to IRCTC website so that the users can get be spared of remember a few URLs.
A great app that seems to be improving with every release. The kind of data they’ve exposed to the user such as RailWisdom, Platform Numbers, independent ETA algorithm etc. gives them a leap so far ahead that no other app even comes close.