Information Sysytem of Railways

Topics: Indian Railways, Management, Rail transport in India Pages: 18 (5246 words) Published: February 12, 2013


Information Systems in Indian Railways
Information Systems in Indian Railways


Indian Railways is a Department of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Railways, and is tasked with operating the rail network in India. The Ministry is headed by a cabinet rank Railways Minister, while the Department is managed by the Railway Board. Indian Railways is not a private corporate body; however, as of recently, IR has adopted a corporate management style. Indian Railways has a total state monopoly on India's rail transport. It is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting seventeen million passengers and more than two million tons of freight daily. IR is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.6 million employees. The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country; the routes cover a total length of more than 63,327 km (39,500 miles).]As of 2008, IR owned about 225,000 wagons, 45,000 coaches and 8300 locomotives and ran more than 18,000 trains daily, including about 8,984 passenger trains and 9,387 goods trains. Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. Indian Railways operates both long distance and suburban rail systems. Today’s Business Challenges for the Indian Railways

* Increased operational efficiency
* Improve productivity from existing systems
* Streamline and optimize business procedures
* Responsiveness to constituents
* Create end-to-end visibility into the business
* Make the information accessible and actionable
* Adaptability to change
* Re-act quickly to threats and opportunities
* Turn IT into a competitive business asset


Indian Railways has been a pioneer in the use of IT in India. IT was first adopted in the 1960s, when computerized passenger and freight revenue accounting, payroll and inventory management were introduced using IBM 1401 computers placed in zonal data centers. Later on, notable success has been achieved in the form of the passenger reservation system (PRS) in the mid eighties, and its subsequent enhancement to a fully networked application. The freight operations information system (FOIS) is currently under implementation. It will greatly change the way freight train movement and goods consignments are monitored in the Indian Railways.

Data processing centers were created way back in the 60’s. Also the legacy systems like Pay roll systems, inventory management and operating statistics were involved. These systems involved high processing of information. The applications evolved but the functionalities remained the same. There were many attempts to create Human Resource Management, MMIS and office applications for automation. But the problems were aplenty, as upgrading systems with newer technologies was very difficult. The older platform used by the legacy systems didn’t integrate well with new applications using new platforms.

A large complex Infrastructure System such as the Indian Railways can benefit greatly from the intelligent use of IT. Objectives of using Information Technology in Indian Railways can be classified as: * Freight revenue enhancement

* Passenger revenue enhancement
* Improved and optimized service

Two Fold Role of IT
IT provides the means for increasing the efficiency of the Indian Railways. There are two different roles of IT in an organization. ROLE 1: An information highway
In this role IT provides information across the organization where and when required, through a number of standard applications that allow capture of...
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