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Railways Adopts Contactless Ticket Checking using QR Code System

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing unabated, new technologies have been adopted in virtually all sectors to minimise risk of close human contact. However, a Railway ticket examiner has to physically examine tickets and mobile phones (for e-tickets).

To overcome the risk of close human contact posed by traditional methods of ticket checking, the North Central Railway had begun a pilot project from June 1 to use a ticket-scanning system for QR (quick response) code based tickets. This system was first implemented at the Prayagraj railway station.

On Wednesday (22nd July 2020) North Central Railway issued a press release saying its contactless ticket checking system “is now being implemented on a pan-India basis”. The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), a railway subsidiary that provides technology solutions, has rolled out an application covering all zonal railways to “display reserved ticket details of passenger in form of unique QR code”.

How the QR Code based Ticketing System Works

Once a reserved ticket is booked from anywhere, an SMS containing URL of the QR code will be sent to the passenger’s mobile number. “During entering the station or checking of ticket, passenger will click on the QR code URL available in SMS, and the QR code of the reserved ticket will be displayed on the passenger’s mobile browser,” the press release said. A hand-held terminal with the CRIS application will be used to scan the QR code. The scanning will also provide the passengers details on occupancy of the train and number of vacant berths.

Besides, the hand-held terminal, ticket examiners can also scan the QR code using apps on their mobile phones such as QR and Barcode Scanner, and QR Code reader.

The press release stated the CRIS application is live now and passengers with reserved tickets are getting SMSes with URL link for the QR code. The Railway Board has instructed zonal railways to train ticket examiners for implementing the QR code-based ticket scanning system.

Last week, the Maharashtra government issued a circular making QR code-based e-passes mandatory for all essential workers using local trains in Mumbai.