Relationship Status: Microsoft is committed to Indian Railways

Indian Railways, the state-owned enterprise operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways, is one of the world's largest railway networks and transports over 25 million passengers daily.

Last year, Microsoft India pulled off a major exclusive with the launch of the official IRCTC app that still is only available for Windows Phone and Windows devices and gets a lot of envy from our friends on Android or iOS.

Apparently, the two enterprises continue with their romance. Earlier this month, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) launched the official National Train Enquiry System for Windows 8 devices. The app has now made it to the Windows Phone Store as well. CRIS is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Railways and develops and manages the Information Technology applications of the Indian Railways.

The National Train Enquiry System (NTES) is railways' back-end system which provides information to the public about train schedules on a near real time basis through various interfaces like nationwide unique rail enquiry number 139, website, enquiry counters and display boards at stations.

The official NTES app provides complete schedule of a train with all stoppages enroute, scheduled arrival/departure at the station, distance, and day count. Using the 'Trains between stations’ query, you can find a list of trains available between any two stations.

The ‘Spot your Train’ feature offers information about a train’s current location and expected time of arrival and departure at a particular station. You can also look up the cancelled, diverted, or rescheduled trains.

It’s quite an impressive app – both in function and form. It has a very neat and beautiful user interface, and the user experience is seamless and intuitive.

Download the official NTES app for Windows Phone 8 devices from the Windows Phone Store or for Windows 8 devices from the Windows Store. It’s a great app if you are taking a trip by train, and a must-pin to your Start screen if you frequently travel by trains in India. Give it a whirl, and let us know how you like it.


Abhishek Baxi