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Indian Railways to introduce smart card for long, short-distance trains

Indian Railways has begun testing the Go India smart card, which will allow users to book tickets across the country, including suburban services

In an attempt to integrate the ticketing system, Union Railways minister Sadanand Gowda officially announced the testing phase of Go India smartcard on August 13. The card, once launched, can be used to book tickets for both short and long-distance trains in reserved and unreserved class, including suburban services.

Indian Railways smart card
Representational picture

For local train bookings, the Indian Railways will merge the new software with ticket windows, Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and Passenger Reservation Counters (PRS).

In the first testing phase, the pilot project will be initiated on the Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Howrah sectors for long-distance trains. “In Mumbai, Mumbai Central is one of the stations where this Go India card will be tested,” said a senior railway official, on condition of anonymity.

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is in the process of ironing out issues of merging the softwares.

How it will work
The card will function as an ATVM card, where a user will place the card on the sensor, select the station from where he boards the train and his destination on the screen and the money will be deducted from the card accordingly.

The lifetime validity card will be sold for Rs 70, out of which Rs 20 will be the immediate balance on the card.

A passenger can recharge the card in multiples of Rs 20 or Rs 50. One can maintain a maximum balance of Rs 10,000. There has been no indication of when the card will be made available.

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