The Railway Budget has brought is some good news for the food industry. The e-catering service experiment has been going on since September 2014 on the Delhi – Amritsar section, on a trial basis in non-pantry car trains. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced that e-catering services will be extended to many more trains. Presently it has e-catering facility has been extended to 120 trains and a number of trains will be added to the list every few days.
Rail travelers will also be able to order food through the IRCTC online platform. When they book their tickets they can also order their choice of foods. There is a wide choice of foods for passengers now, including local foods. Passengers can also send an SMS with “MEAL <PNR>” at 139 written in it. List of E-catering trains is available on the IRCTC website.
The railways are working to integrate with the best food chains in the country but have selected Jubilant Food Works Ltd. to try out this experiment first. Jubilant Foods Works Ltd. that runs the Domino’s Pizza portfolio in India has been selected to supply pizzas to passengers on a trial basis. Pizzas will be available on 12 stations for the present time till the trial in on. The stations are Agra Cantt. (AGC),Alwar, Jaipur, Ambala, Jalandhar Cantt, Mathura Junction, Muzzafar Nagar, New Delhi, Pathankot Cantt, VAPI, Bharuch and Vadodara.
It seems that now passengers will be able to place an order for a pizza if they are travelling in a train that does not have a pantry car. They can order their choice of pizzas either online or through a mobile phone. The ordered pizza will served at the seat as the train travels enroute. Depending on the response from the customers, the facility will be extended to cover more trains.
Railway also intends to set up Base Kitchens in specified Divisions to be run by highly credible agencies for serving quality food to the large number of railway passengers.