The SMS-based service, part of the e-catering service, will be launched on September 25 in a few selected trains on on a pilot basis, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
IRCTC, which is coordinating the e-catering service, is finalising a new designated number to be used for SMS service for ordering food on a train.
Plagued with complaints, Railways has stepped up efforts to improve catering services on trains.
“Our aim is to provide multiple choices to passengers. While the existing service of getting food from pantry cars will continue, the SMS-based service is also being offered to passengers,” the official said.
According to the plan, a passenger will get response from a dedicated team after sending the SMS mentioning his PNR number.
“The passenger will get call after the due online verification of the PNR status and berth position in the particular train seeking details of food order. Payments will be made after the delivery,” he said.
While SMS-based service is being launched, Railways is also finalising a plan to start online order system where a passenger can also book his food online.
Arrangements have been made with some reputed food chains and eating joints for providing food through SMS-based orders on trains, the official said, adding “the online order system will also be launched shortly”.
Recently, Railways had started providing ready-to-eat packaged food in certain trains on a trial basis offering variety of choices to passengers.
The ready-to-eat food service got a good response and now we are planning to formulate a policy on it by roping in more players, the official said.