As the travel industry in India continues to grow by leaps and bounds, they seem to be embracing newer mobile trends with equal gusto. The railways in the country appear to be a favoured mode of travel, despite there being other options. Having said that, one does tend to get discouraged at the thought of having to stand in long queues and spend hours to book tickets. In the past few years, though, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, popularly known as IRCTC has been striving at simplifying the ticketing process for their passengers. Remember, mobile ticketing was a huge hit in Kerala, and a GPS-based software will be soon implemented to track movement of trains for both official and personal use. To make rail ticket bookings easier, eliminating those long serpentine queues, there are several apps in the Android Market. We’ve picked top 5 free Android apps to get your railway ticketing process simplified.

Blends it all well…

Indian Railway Train Alarm
This app is a blend of some amazing features that offer the list of trains, lets you check your PNR status, allows you to book/cancel tickets, check train schedules, and do much more. Most importantly, it alerts you about the train timings, which is helpful in times that your train is running slow or will be reaching earlier, than scheduled. It also tracks the PNR number and on confirmation notifies the user. Users can even download train schedules for their reference. This app can be called as the 'one station for all your rail ticketing needs.

IRCTC Mobile
IRCTC jumps on to your mobile screens with this application. Though, this isn't an official IRCTC app, it is convenient and efficient to use, nevertheless. The app is a simple and straightforward way to negate all the hassles and book your seat/berth as you plan your next rail journey. Optimized for better data caching and smooth scrolling, the app takes you to the official IRCTC mobile site. The mobile app allows booking, cancelling and even checking of the PNR status.

Unofficial yet efficient

Unofficial, yet efficient

This app, has its wings fluttering over several ticketing and banking domains, and comes across as our next choice to book rail tickets. Needless to say, you need to click on the IRCTC section for rail tickets among the various options. This mobile app enables users to make payments via credit/debit cards and once you book the ticket, the e-ticket is sent to your inbox.

Indian Rail PNR status enquiry
This a simple and straightforward app – often seen preloaded in some Android apps. You key in the PNR number and the app conveniently shows the status of your reservation. This app is essential, especially for those who find themselves getting caught in the waiting list dilemma. With this app you don't need to worry about whether your seat/berth is confirmed upon reaching the railway station and it negates the need to stay connected to the PC to do the same. It can be conveniently used even by a novice or an elderly person.

Indian Rail Info
This app has been designed to shoo off those bouts of information-hunger. You can get all transit-related information about Indian railways using this app. Be it train search, seat availability, or seat upgrade status, this app brings all information under one hood. Besides, it caters to some basic, yet much essential queries like the travel fare and also assists in finding the new train numbers.

Rail info put together

Rail info put together

IRCTC also has its own mobile services in collaboration with major leading telecom operators. Moreover, MakeMyTrip has also included the Rail section in its online ticketing options, but we didn't see the option on the mobile app. However, we think this app will surely be a good choice once made available for mobile phones. 

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