Despite the advent of technology, the railway commuters look forward to the release of the railway timetable in July as it is user-friendly, comprehensive, easy-to-read and has valuable information on the trains and the railway network. The timetable for the Southern Zone valid from July this year to June next has just hit the stands.
The Rameswaram bridge in the Southern Railway and Rajahmundry bridge in South Central Railway have occupied the cover page of the timetable. The Dudh Sagar in Goa that comes under the South Western Railway has been featured in the back cover with the message ‘Indian Railways Serving Customers with a Smile.'
The zonal railways – South Central Railway, Southern Railway, South Western Railway and Konkan Railway – in the South have been clubbed together for making the timetable comprehensive.
A notable feature of the timetable is that key persons of the zonal railways right from General Manager to those in the Operation, Commercial and Transportation wings have been included in the beginning. Blue coloured fonts have been given in the book to facilitate easy reading. A separate section on select tourist attractions in the southern States titled ‘The Marvellous South India' is featured towards the end.
Four simple methods have been listed out and tips provided, along with illustrations, on how to locate the tables in the 360-page book. A pairing table has also been included along with this. It is followed by an illustration on how to read a table and how to locate the trains and railway stations. It is priced Rs.30.
The Indian Railway Map in colour has been included in the beginning along with the map with table numbers. Timetables of express and passenger trains of all the zones as well as all-India trains have been provided. Route maps have been given above all the timetables to enable the commuter to know the route of the train.
In the passenger information section, telephone numbers of zones and divisions, list of computerised reservation centres, advance reservation procedures, rail travel concessions, refund rules, booking of luggage, claims, amenities at stations, retiring rooms and dormitories at stations are included. Fares of passenger trains, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Garib Rath are also there.
Public grievance and redressal machinery, public information officers under the Right to Information Act, list of zonal railways and websites along with details of rail travel service agents in all divisions have been provided in the passenger information section.
Timings and days of operation of Duronto, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Sampark Kranti and Garib Rath trains are given under the ‘Trains at a glance' title.