What are the main problems faced by Indian Railways



Abhishek Lakra, B.Tech Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur (2018)

I was on a vacation to Chennai with my family . We booked our train tickets in a 2 tier coach 4 months prior to our journey. We had our returning train on 18th June from Egmore station. Our train (Chennai Egmore-Guwahati Express) was expected to arrive at 10:15 pm and depart at 10:30 pm.

The coach display boards on the platform were not functional. Had they been working it would have saved the rush among the passengers. The train was few minutes late. We waited for the passengers to board at first as we already had our seats booked. I wanted to crash on my seat after a long tiring day. The train halted and there was no sign of our coach. We searched till the last coaches to find ours. The passengers of 2 tier coach were stranded on the platform. While searching, I saw an attendant directing the passengers towards a 3 tier coach. On enquiring we got to know that the 2 tier coach was degraded to 3 tier coach without informing the passengers.

Nonetheless, we got on board. After we had settled, put off our luggages, there came a lady who cmed our seat to be hers. We had confirmed tickets and there was no possibility of two persons having the same seat number. The lady said that she had booked the tickets only a day ago. We checked our PNR number online and it said that our confirmed seat has been changed to some other seat and our original seat has been allocated to that lady.




The chaos could have led the passengers to miss the train. All this could have been avoided if the staff performed their duty responsibly and saved the passengers from unnecessary harassment.

The fares of the A/C coaches are now almost at par with the flight fares still there isn't any improvement in the services they provide. The passengers pay such huge fares to get security, privacy, comfort and an overall good experience while traveling in these A/C coaches but the services are same since last decade.




Srinivas Kagita, Traveled almost all major Indian rail routes.

Railways think we are all 'Thief's".

Look at this mug. It costs just Rs.10 or even less if you buy it in wholesale.

But Indian railways don't dare to provide these in the sleeper coach lavatories with a lame reason - People will steal it.

For a 10 seconds assume they are .

A long distance Indian train will typically have 13 sleeper coaches. In each coach, there's 4 lavatories. And 13*4 = Total 52 lavatories.

So it costs just Rupees 520 to provide mugs for the entire train.

Even if the Indian railways badly think each & everyday all these super-hot lavatory mugs will get stolen by its passengers, it's costing them less than half the price of a single long distance ticket.

It don't cost them a hell lot of money even if all the mugs are getting stolen everyday & they have to provide new mugs for each new journey.

But I seriously doubt a passenger who bought a Rs.1300 ticket will like to steal a Rs.10 bathroom mug & put that in their luggage bag.





印度长途火车一般有13节卧铺车厢。每节车厢有4个厕所。13*4 =总共52个厕所。






Neelmani Shrivastava, works at Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar

*Indian Railways Catering Fraud*

In India if someone want to travel to large distances one has very limited affordable options left like:

Air travel (Flights) - For relatively rich ones and

Trains – For middle and lower classes

As I also belong to middle class and mostly use train to travel anywhere.

Recently I went to Bangalore for my internship.

To come back I booked ticket in 12649 - YESVANTPUR - H NIZAMUDDIN Karnataka Sampark Kranti Exp.

I boarded the train and after sometime one of the serviceman came with water bottles, I asked for one on printed price but he refused to give and I had to buy on demanded price. This same continue for whole day as I had no options left and had to pay the demanded price i.e. 40Rs for breakfast instead of 30Rs, 100Rs for Veg. Meal (lunch) instead of 50Rs and 130Rs for Non- Veg Meal (dinner) instead of 55Rs. I argued every time and even showed the offi al menu of IRCTC (downloaded from IRCTC PORTAL HOME PAGE) but every time they refused to give and every time I had to pay







我预定了12649号的回程火车票—YESVANTPUR - H NIZAMUDDIN Karnataka Sampark Kranti Exp。


译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/48780.html  译者:Joyceliu

Solutions –

1- They should make some app or web link through which the menu items (price showed there itself) can be ordered directly and one don’t has to face the serviceman regarding the payment.

2- All the food items should come with the labelled MRPs like breakfast, Meals, Biryani, etc.

Edit- After reading the suggestions in the comment box, if such things are happening to you should do the following

Firstly clearly mention that you want the food item which is in the IRCTC MENU. If they refuse to provide the items at the price fixed by IRCTC(i.e. for mail/exp Veg meal-50, Non veg-55)

-Please Tweet (railway ministry and Zonal IRCTC as well) the matter along with your PNR, response time is very less(as far as i heard).

-Ask for compnt book as it is mandatory to carry the IRCTC menu items.

-You can also call on toll free number 1800–111–321 (for compnts/suggestions to catering services mon oring cell (CSMC) function at zonal railways level and in Railway Board)










Parameswaran B Annapoorani, Proud Indian

Nothing’s wrong with the Indian Railways my brother/sister. If there's something wrong, then that's with you, the Indian public!

Take a look at this:

Indian railways launched Tejas express, a semi high speed train with modern facilities. The train runs at 160 kmph, bio-vacuum toilets, water level indicators, tap sensors, hand dryers, integrated braille displays, LED TV for each passenger with phone sockets, local cuisine, celebrity chef menu, WiFi, tea and coffee vending machines, magazines, snack tables, CCTV cameras, fire & smoke detection. Here's how it looks:



印度铁路公司推出了拥有现代化设施的半高速列车Tejas express。列车以每小时160公里的速度运行,配备了生物真空厕所、水位指示器、水龙头传感器、手干机、综合盲文显示器、为每位乘客配备的带电话接口的LED电视、当地美食、名厨菜单、WiFi、茶和咖啡自动贩卖机、杂志、快餐台、闭路电视摄像机、火灾和烟雾探测装置。请看下图:


It was introduced in 3 routes and made its maiden journey on 23rd May 2017 and during the maintenance of the coaches after the first journey, the offi als reported that they found cracked LED screens and also reported that some headphones were stolen. The people who were there in the second journey of the train reported were the toilets were not clean and were not flushed. People also threw stones and dged the window of the train.



Now these trains are not used by uneducated or poor people who don't have any idea about the importance of public asset prection because the fares for the journey is 20% to 30% more than shatabdi fare. Hence it's used by fairly rich people who have education and common sense (I blindly assume this). Such people are expected to be the role models

Remember that Indian railways is much cher compared to the railways of developed western countries like UK or USA, where the cost of a 500 km journey would be around £40-£50 (Rs 3500-Rs 4000) compared to that of Rs 1000-Rs 1200 in India.

The public has an extreme shitty mentality. You'll pay less, not care to flush the toilet, steal and throw stones at the train and then crib by coming to Quora, asking questions like “What's wrong with Indian Railways?”. Long answer short, it's your attitude and mentality.

PS: Indian Railways is one of the best railway networks in the world, connecting hook and corner of the nation. Day by day, they are improving and it's only a matter of time before it raises to world class standards. Also, by “you” in the answer, I mean the Indian public.


请记住,印度铁路比英国或美国等西方发达国家的铁路便宜得多,这些国家500公里的旅行成本大约是40- 50英镑(3500- 4000卢比),而印度才1000- 1200卢比。




Kargal Gurumurthy, Professor at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore

1.Trains should run without any accidents

2.They should run as per the schedule on time without a minute’s delay

3.The comfort inside the train must be enhanced in terms of cleanliness and seats

4.The quality of the toilets should be upgraded to aircraft toilets

5.No hawker to be allowed inside

6.The speed of the trains to be increased

7.Improve the quality of food served in the pantry car

8.Provide more security for the passengers in the sensitive area

9.Keep all the train stations clean and tidy and noiseless (remove all the TVs which make so much of noise)

10.No beggars and dogs inside the station

11.No body should sleep, litter, urinate …….in the platform

12.No littering on the rails.

13.No body to use the toilet in the station ( it is ok ,if it is a aircraft toilet)

14.No stalls on the platforms
















Srikanth Jayasankar, works at L&T Construction

There is nothing wrong in indian railways. To maintain such a large network of rails( tracks and fastening sy ems) that connects every nook and corner of the country it takes huge sacrifice and commitment.



Vijay Sharma, worked at Indian Railways (1973-2013)

The basic wrong is that Indian Railways is run in non professional way and partially as charitable org. To start with see the example of parliament canteen. If yu read the price menu it will look like a free bee sy em. And this is subsidised by Indian Railways. Only God knows who pay for numerous free journeys of MPs MLAs and other privileged free travellers.

Free stay at Railway platforms , bathing, encroachment on Railway land is a common activity.

Apart from from above there are many social obligations which are carried by Railways being big and generous organisation. Hence best option is to privatise Indian Railways by kee only operation portion under Go nment.





Anubhab Kundu, Trains are my fascination...curiosity and special interest

Basically many.

1.Lack of infrastructure and investment.

2.Lack of cleanliness in rly premises, especially major terminal stations.

3.Very low average speed of trains.

4.Lowest grade of track, train and overall maintainance






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