Aimed at simplifying on-board ticket checking, Hand Held Terminals (HHTs) were launched as a pilot project in Southern Railway on 31st December 2018. A novel initiative introduced as part of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Digital India Mission, HHTs were put to use on an experimental basis on two train services in Southern Railway, in the first phase. The equipment was initially deployed in Train No.12007/12008 Chennai – Mysuru – Chennai Shatabdi and Train No.12243/12244 Chennai – Coimbatore – Chennai Shatabdi Express trains.
Presently, Southern Railway has been allotted a total of 857 Hand Held Terminals. The distribution to divisions are; 246 HHTs to Chennai Division, 101 to Tiruchchirappalli Division, 98 to Madurai Division, 148 to Thiruvananthapuram Division, 140 to Palakkad Division and 124 to Salem Division. Of these, over 800 have been deployed for on-board ticket checking in about 185 trains running in the zone. Hand Held Terminals will be proliferated and introduced in many other trains in a phased manner.
Train No.22672/22671 Madurai – Chennai Egmore – Madurai Tejas Express, Train No.12653/12654 Chennai Egmore – Tiruchchirappalli – Chennai Egmore Rockfort Express, Train No.12673/12674 Dr MGR Chennai Central – Coimbatore Jn – Dr MGR Chennai Central Cheran Express, Train No.22153/22154 Chennai Egmore – Salem – Chennai Egmore Superfast Express are some of the popular trains in which Hand Held Terminals have been used by TTEs for ticket checking.
With the deployment of this modern equipment in ticket checking, passengers will benefit from prompt allotment of vacant berths in the course of journey and will ensure greater transparency in allotment of berths. Doing away the manual procedure, this paperless facility will help TTEs to get real-time information about accommodation falling vacant enroute and enable them to book tickets online, in trains that have remote location facility. Remote location facility in a train refers to an arrangement where portion of the seats are earmarked for intermediate stoppages/stations falling in the route of the train.
Advantages of Hand Held Terminals
· An eco-friendly move, the Hand Held Terminals will replace paper charts presently used by TTEs on-board.
· Ease of ticket-checking as HHTs are synced with Passenger Reservation System enabling downloading of charts and uploading of modified charts after checking.
· The offline application enables TTEs to work with the downloaded chart even in the absence of network connectivity.
· The TTEs can easily check the tickets of passengers, mark Turned Up/ Not turned up passengers and expedite allotment of fresh/alternate berths or seats. Besides, Upgrading/downgrading accommodation, calculation of occupancy for food and bedrolls can be made swiftly.
· Faster Refund process as real-time data of vacancy position and occupancy is synced with PRS software.
· Passengers will get real-time information about vacant berths at stations enroute.
· As the after chart cancellations are sent on an hourly basis to the Hand Held Terminal, fraudulent travel can be easily detected.