Asia Bizz: In some good news for the passengers traveling by train in India, the ministry of railways has decided to permit Short Messaging Service (SMS) sent by the Indian Railways Catering &Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) equivalent to the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS). The step has been taken to make it even more convenient for passengers to travel on the vast rail network in India.

The new decision has come to effect from February 1, 2012. The text message will be considered as valid if it contains all the important details like the PNR number, date of journey, coach and seat number, fare paid and name and number of the passenger. If possible the text message will also accommodate the names of all the passengers booked on the e-ticket or the maximum number of passengers.

The message – which will be accompanied with all the vital details – can be displayed through mobile phones, laptops and palmtops will be considered as valid and equivalent to an ERS. However, the text message should be shown along with the valid photo ID in original.

The message will have to be displayed during the course of off-board as well as on board checking. In case the passenger is not able to produce the authorized message due to any reason, then the passengers can be allowed to travel if he has the photo ID and will be levied with a penalty of Rs 50.