You are at the railway station, looking from your platform waiting for your train. You keep wondering where the train is. Well, you can get to check the live status of your train online.
What is live train status?
Live train running status gives information such as the exact location and the real-time delay of the particular train. Alternately it may include the ETA of the train at any station along its route. The information of the train status allows the traveler to plan his schedule and be on time at the station to board his train.
How does live train status work?
There are two elements which are to be mainly noted while checking the live train running status; “Last Reported Location” and “Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).”
The ‘Last Reported Station’ is simply the last station at which the train is reported to have passed. This information is used to determine the live train running status. It also conveys if that train arrived, departed or passed a particular station.
ETA or estimated time of arrival indicated the expected time the train would reach upcoming stations. This is helpful in planning your schedule so that you are on time to board the train. The estimated time is determined based on the average time the train takes to cover a certain distance. Predictions of the time required to cover the upcoming distance are then calculated which gives the ETA for a particular station.
How accurate is live status?
Rail Yatri has reported, that 90% of the live train status updates about a train at a specific station comes with an average delay of 8-10 minutes of the train’s arriving, departing or crossing that station. For the remaining 10%, the updates can be delayed as much as up to an hour.
Train status updates from the last stop typically arrive in a delayed fashion. Therefore the information is not very accurate, as within that period the train might have recovered some lost time. However, if the data comes from GPS, it is more accurate. GPS uses satellites to give the exact real-time position of the train to accuracies of up to a few meters. Therefore the ETA is much more accurate.
How often should the status be checked?
Indian Railways is infamous for the frequent delays on the train schedule. However, one need not worry if the train status shows a delay. Trains most often recover lost time. Thus the train delay at upcoming stations could report lesser delay compared to the previous update.
The status of the running train obviously changes frequently. It is highly recommended that the user checks the status often. Passenger trains have numerous stops with very short intervals of time. Thus the status keeps changing every 30mins to 1 hour. Therefore the status of such trains must be checked keeping this in mind.
While express trains stop only at major stations, the status updates are primarily due to time recovery by these trains. Hence a lower frequency of checking can suffice.
With features such as the train running status live, traveling has become more comfortable. Alternatively, if the data is stored, delays can be accounted for and fixed.