Passengers will soon be able to use smart cards for buying train tickets on the busy Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes and also in the Kolkata Metro.
"A pan-India multi-purpose smart card is going to be launched by railways in two most sought after routes on a pilot basis shortly and the modalities are being worked for it," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project.
Aptly named Go-India card, it can be used for booking tickets for long distance and sub-urban trains on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Horwah routes.
Asked whether the scheme will be extended to other routes, officials said, "the pilot project is for one year and depending on the response we will decide for its extension on other routes".
The Go-India card proposal, as announced in the Rail Budget 2011-12, will be implemented in two phases.
"While in the first phase it will allow the passenger to buy train tickets in the Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai routes, Kolkata Metro will be included in the second phase," he said.
One can book reserved and unreserved tickets using the Go-India card at booking counters, automatic ticketing vending machines (ATVM) and also through the Internet.
All major stations like Kanpur, Allahabad and Dhanbad in Delhi-Howrah route and Baroda and Surat in Delhi-Mumbai sector will have facilities for using Go-India card. The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the IT arm of railways, is making the software for the smart card.
"We will sign an agreement with a nationalised bank shortly to make the Go-India card operational," the official said adding, "our aim is to make booking of tickets for train journey a hassle-free exercise for the passenger as this will act as a single window package for long distance, sub-urban and metro journeys."