Let’s admit first, that for decades now, Shatabdi and Rajdhani have served the same meals on its overnight trains, and the familiarity has become a little bit of a burden. Time to shed it off. By Shikha Pushpan
You can now avoid the boring railway meals and order food from your favourite fast food chains. The Indian Railways has partnered with Domino’s, KFC, and McDonald’s, among other food chains to get your favourite food to your seat. Passengers can now pre-order their meals from any of the partner brands online, on phone call or by SMS. The bookings have to be made at least two hours in advance.
While booking online, passengers should visit the official website of Indian Railways, ecatering.irctc.co.in where they can choose the station where they want the food to be delivered. On choosing the station, they will be given options of food joints available for that particular station. They can go through the menu of these food joints and order their food. You can either pay for it online or at the time of delivery.
To order on phone, call ‘1323’ and place your order. Similarly, you can order food via SMS by texting ‘MEAL’, followed by PNR number to 139. You will be assisted by a customer care executive to place your order.
A quick run through the IRCTC website throws up a number of options like Biryani Paradise, Deez Biryani, Haldiram, Pind Baluchi and Subway to choose from at the New Delhi station. Switz Foods, Only Alibaba, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Nirula’s and Pizza Hut are among the other vendors which have partnered with the Railways for this scheme.
The Railways had conducted a trial run of the initiative last year on Patna Rajdhani, Delhi-Mumbai August Kranti Rajdhani, Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi trains and it was a success.
So, the next time you set out on a train journey, you know where to look for interesting food options.