Now that the mandatory railway meals are becoming optional, travellers will now have the option to pre-book fast food on the trains, directly from their mobile. Indian Railways has tied up with fast food chains such as KFC, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Sagar Ratna, Switz Foods, Only Alibaba, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Nirula’s and Pizza Hut, according to a report on Hindustan Times.
As of now, passengers travelling from Ludhiana to Delhi by Shatabdi will only be able to pre-order from Domino’s, Gyan Vegetarian at Ludhiana and Babbi Fish and Chicken. Chains such as McDonald’s and KFC are yet to start delivery services that fall under Ferozepur division of Northern Railways. Railways began a 45-day trial run in June 2016 on Delhi-Mumbai August Kranti Rajdhani, Patna Rajdhani, Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi. So if you are travelling on these routes and via the aforementioned train, here’s how you can get slice of pizza right at your seat.
So there are three ways to go about placing the orders. Travellers can pre-book either by SMS, phone or online. Naturally, the one booked through SMS would be a cash on delivery order, and the one done online will have the option to pay in advance. ALSO READ: Indian Railways to set up Wi-Fi hotspots across 7,000 stations under Railwire Saathi project
Looking at the online procedure first, the initial step will be to log on to the ecatering.irctc.co.in website. Right on the face of the website, you’ll see three options, to order food, where you can search by station, train PNR number, or by the name of the train. That is a requisite so you can know if your train, station or route is eligible for placing the order with the outlet you want.
Once you have fed in that detail, just browse through available food joints and place the order. Post placing the order, you will receive an OTP verification code. Although, do note, that a pre-order for a meal ought to be made a minimum of two hours in advance.
Order via SMS
The other option is that passengers can book their meal via SMS. To do that, you will need to text MEAL followed by PNR number to 139. Passengers will have to pay cash at the time of order. ALSO READ: Indian Railways to soon have an integrated software for faster data collection and analysis
Order via phone
Fast food can also be ordered through phone by calling ‘1323’. And when you call and place the order, the OTP and confirmation will be sent to you via SMS. Payment through this channel will obviously be cash on delivery.