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Searching the Indian Railways

We thought we’d take a short trip down memory lane with a recap of the launch and evolution of Cleartrip’s current Indian Railways search.

In February this year, Cleartrip’s Research team launched a search-only service for the Indian Railways. Driven by the urge to create the simplest and most efficient rail search, the product was packed with unique features designed to make searching the railways faster and simpler:

  • Trains, routes and fares available with a single click instead of three
  • Support for searching multiple stations in a city simultaneously instead of having to search one station at a time–very handy for larger cities with lots of stations
  • Instant comparison of fares from multiple classes such as AC 2-Tier and AC 3-Tier
  • Multiple sorting and filtering options–by time, price, station and more

Perfection, however, is a journey, not a destination and we were convinced there was room for improvement…

Aided by feedback pouring in from thousands of users, we started work on adding more to the search. Within two weeks of launch, we released new features to improve the railways search

A week later, we visualised train route information by integrating the train routes with Google Maps.

Mandovi express route map

Three months after we launched the original search, we released a major upgrade to the railways search. We had previously been concentrating on small to medium sized feature additions and improvements and with this release, we made available some major advances that users had been clamouring for:

  • Connecting trains was one of our top user requests, and our train search now returned results for searches between stations where no direct trains existed–for instance, Kanpur to Goa has no direct trains, but Cleartrip’s train search suggested connections and stopovers to get you from start to finish without a hitch.

  • Dateless searches allowed searching the railways without entering a specific date, search results displayed all trains travelling that route along with the days of the week on which each train is running
  • Saved searches permitted users to save their regular searches; all saved searches were available from a “Saved searches” link

Creating a cutting-edge search for Indian Railways has been an enjoyable challenge for us all–we hope you love the search as much as we do.