Information on the live status of the running of trains in the Indian Railways is crucial. Live status of running trains implies the precise position of any of the trains. It also indicates estimated arrival or departure of trains at a specific point on their route.
The two important factors to be considered while ascertaining live train status include ‘Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)’ incoming points of stoppage and ‘Last Reported Station.’
Last Reported Station refers to the station where the train stopped last. It is one way in which current live running status of trains is determined. This information also conveys elements like the arrival and departure of the train and whether it has crossed the particular station.
ETA reports the time by which the train is meant to reach any of its regular stoppages. It is also the time in which potential travellers of the train are waiting for boarding the train.
The Last Reported Station may be an ‘intermediate station’ or a stoppage. The Intermediate station is one where the train does not stop regularly and will simply cross that station.
As per reports of Indian Railways, 90% of updates of the live status of running trains from a specific station arrive between 8 to 10 minutes of crossing/departing/arriving at a station. In case of remaining 10%, live updates of train running status refer to information in the last hour or more.
Another fact is that most trains recover time when running late. Hence, the delay of the train at forthcoming stoppages might be lower than what reported at ‘Last Reported Station.’ Thus, you must make suitable adjustments in travel plans.
Updates of running status of trains from last stop usually arrive in a delayed manner. So, attempts are made to update ETD and ETA in real time indicating the live status of running trains. Using this, passengers of Indian Railways can find out when a train will depart from and arrive at a station.
One can keep track of train running status using GPS technology. Many private organizations provide information on train running status using this.
For example, in case you are undertaking a journey by Patna Rajdhani Express, from Patna to Delhi, key in the train number, 12309 in the given column. Choose the date of travel and click on the service-‘Live Status’.
When you do this, information on the train’s position in any of the route stations- Patna, Allahabad Junction, Kanpur Central, etc. will pop up. It will also reveal ‘Expected time of Arrival’ and ‘Expected time of Departure’ from each station. This will indicate whether the train is on time or delayed as per the location.
The live position of trains between stations may also be tracked. You can judge the time to reach a particular station from a previous one. As train advances, the distance between stations also reduces, and status can be updated in real time.
Some services also provide information on platform number of arrival and departure of trains. This is very useful for the already harried travellers. One can also access a route map of the train using GPS.