Now railway passengers can book meals through SMS to 139 as the service will be launched from Thursday on a few selected trains on trial basis.
The SMS food service will be made operational on six trains in Delhi-Amritsar section from September 25 as a pilot project, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Delhi-Pathankot Express, Katihar-Amritsar Express, Amritsar-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Express, Shane Punjab Express, New Delhi-Amritsar Express and Shaheed Express are being selected for trial of SMS food service.
"All these trains do not have pantry car," said the official adding "the service will be carried out by the IRCTC."
According to the plan, one has to send an SMS to 139 along with the PNR number to book a meal.
"Passenger has to write just meal and then PNR number. Once the SMS is received the PNR number will be verified for the particular train, coach and seat position and the passenger will be contacted with the details of menu available," the official said.
Payment will be collected after delivery of the food at the designated seat.
The SMS food serive is part of the e-catering service of the Railways which is facing an uphill task of improving food quality being served on trains.
"The SMS service will be extended to other trains depending on the trial results as our aim is to provide the passengers various options for availing food on trains," he said.
Besides the SMS, railways is also making available food through phone calls and for this two dedicated numbers have been provided for the catering purpose.
One can make a call to 1800 1034 139 or 0120-4383892-99 to book a meal.
During the trial, passengers will be served food at the five nominated stations - New Delhi, Delhi, Nizamuddin, Amritsar and Ludhiana only. The food will be served from the IRCTCFoodPlazas or Catering Units at the Delhi-Amritsar section.