IRCTC mulls region-specific delicacies on the menu for train passengers

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Train passengers will soon be able to savour delicacies and famous products of cities on their route on board, with the railways planning to upgrade its catering service.

Officials said once the system is in place, one can buy oranges of Nagpur or Alphonso mangoes of Ratnagiri, Raigad, and Konkan regions through the e-catering service of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Other items will be confectionaries from famous outlets or brands such as Agra’s Petha, Gajak from Morena, Rasgulla of Bikaner, and Anarsa – a popular delicacy from Gaya. “Shortly, we are going to add famous local food items and products to our catering service. These will be available at 1,200 important stations. The service can be availed anytime, anywhere,” said an official.

According to officials, encouraging response and record bookings have prompted the company to introduce city-specific products, which are in demand. The on-board e-catering facility was resumed after a long break in August, which was suspended due to the COVID pandemic outbreak.

The number of bookings is going up gradually. The corporation has set a target of 20,000 orders per day. During the weekend, the IRCTC received a record number of meal orders – 32,000 – from October 8-10.

“The online food service was reintroduced recently. Passengers have started ordering food through e-catering service. Response has been good. We already had tie-ups with popular multinational fast-food joints and Indian brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Dominos, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Sagar Ratna and others. This service was successful but halted due to Covid. Around 32,000 meals were booked on the weekend, which was the highest so far after the resumption of service,” added the official.

IRCTC has teamed up with over 500 restaurants to serve passengers.