The catering arm of the national transporter- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will resume its e-catering services from 1 February 2021. According to the Railway Ministry, the resumption of e-catering services of IRCTC will allow passengers to book fresh meals during their train journeys. The Railways had to suspend the e-catering services for nearly a year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India.
The e-catering service was started by the IRCTC in 2014 and is available on the IRCTC website – www.ecatering.irctc.com – or through telephone. The IRCTC e-catering service is also available on the ‘Food on Track’ app. The IRCTC ‘Food on Track’ app is available on Google Play for Android smartphone users and on the App Store for Apple users. Passengers can install the app and use it to place orders. With the system of online food delivery on the train, passengers can get food delivered to their seats. They can choose from a revamped railway food menu. The menu has plenty of options such as north Indian, south Indian cuisines, pizzas, etc., with multiple food aggregators on the train stations. IRCTC has partnered with restaurants such as Domino’s, Zoop, Nirula’s, Yatri, etc for the e-catering service. In the first phase of reopening, the e-catering services will begin at 62 stations across India including New Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna, Surat, Ahmedabad, Pune, Howrah, Vijaywada, Ernakulum, Ujjain and Panvel.
Train operations were put on hold from March 22 last year to check the spread of coronavirus in the country. Later, passenger special trains were introduced on routes with high demand, but Indian Railways didn’t resume serving food in trains. The Railway Ministry had allowed eateries and shops to operate on railway stations.