To keep a check on ticketless travellers and ease the pressure on ticket examiners and collectors, the Indian Railways is planning to go the Metro way and install automatic flap gates with barcode scanners at stations.
For the first step, the access control system which is already functional at Delhi and Kolkata Metro services will be put into action at non-metropolitan stations where the rush is minimum. As a pilot experiment, CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) which is the software arm of Railways is currently making new flap gate system operational at Brar Square Station in Delhi Division.
The access control system at Brar Square will be functional in the next three months, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
If this experiment is successful, then the system will help the Railways to deal with the dearth of train ticket collectors and examiners.
As per the system design, the unreserved tickets will be printed with an encrypted QR code for the appointed station where the passengers will need to enter or exit through the automatic flap gates after they have validated their tickets. During the rush hours, the automatic flap gate system will be able to handle faster entry and exit of passengers.
The Brar Square Station will also have counters which will provide QR-coded tickets to the passengers for entry and exit. The ticket counters will have thermal printers for obtaining the barcoded tickets.
“We chose Brar Station for conducting the trial because the passenger rush is limited here,” said the official.
The estimated cost for installing the automatic gate with barcode facility is INR 4 lakh.