Railway ticket site sheds ads, gains speed

MUMBAI: You now have a better chance of booking a railway ticket on the e-ticketing websiteduring the tatkal rush hours in the morning, thanks to a decision to shed some content from the web page for the period.

Between 9.30 am and noon, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) now removes all links, images, advertisements, services and features from its website that are not required. Tatkal ticket bookings start at 10 am.

IRCTC said all banners, alerts and updates, floating tabs - user guide, enquiries, general information, agents, 'advertise with us', IRCTC zone, mobile zone - had been removed from the home page during the peak hours.

The move helped reduce unnecessary hits and cut down non-ticketing traffic between 10 am and noon.

Categorized as IRCTC LITE by railway officials, the concept website has been deemed a success as 58,000 bookings are possible in the first hour between 10 am and 11 am compared with the earlier average of 48,000.

"There are days when bookings cross the 70,000 mark," the IRCTC said in a statement.

The average bookings between 10am and noon also registered an impressive growth, from 83,000 to 92,000. Bookings crossed even the 1 lakh mark on 10 occasions, with February 9 throwing up a high of 1.05 lakh.

The IRCTC also claimed that in the service section, the 'Plan My Travel' facility had become faster and more efficient in fetching the 'from' and 'to' stations using the auto complete feature.

In the 'My Transactions' section, 'Cancelled History', 'TDR History' and 'Refund Status of Cancelled Tickets' are now not available between 9.30 am and noon, reducing unnecessary hits on the site. While in the 'User Profile' section the 'Update Profile', 'Master List of Passenger', 'Passenger Travel List' and similar features are removed during the peak hours, in the 'General' section the 'Terms & Conditions', 'TDR Procedure' and the like are disabled.

The changes happened in mid-January. The excisions not only helped target the right section for tatkal bookings, but also allowed users to locate information faster.

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