New Delhi: Railways have decided to offer
passengers the choice of booking their meal along with their
ticket, payment for which will be accepted only after the food
Under the `book a meal` scheme, passengers reserving
berths online on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism
Corporation (IRCTC) website can place the order of their
choice "which will be duly served to them once they embark on
The delicacies range from masala dosa to egg and
The facility is only for those who have fully
"The payment will not be taken online. Cash payment
will be taken by pantry car staff on train only on
successfully delivering the service," said a Railway Ministry
The service has been launched on a pilot basis in
two trains -- 2780 Goa Express and 2628 Karnataka Express
trains-- to assess passenger feedback, the official said.
"The book a meal option is available for breakfast,
lunch, dinner etc. The meals booked will be served by the
pantry car staff strictly according to the service timings
mentioned on the website," he said.
Once the meal has been booked, cancellation or
modification will not be permitted, he said.
Railways is in the midst of finalising its revised
catering policy after it received flak from several quarters
over the quality of food served onboard trains.
IRCTC, engaged in catering operations in about 300
odd trains, has also revamped its passenger grievances
redressal mechanism to receive passenger feed back.
Under the new scheme, the official said, the catering
staff will carry a list of food ordered by the passengers.
On its website, railways have provided the details of
the food along with the prices.
Orders for packaged bottle drinking water, ketchup
sachet etc. can also be placed online.
This apart, orders for standard veg and non-veg meals
and morning breakfast can be booked online. These items will
be served in a casserole.