Pak Railways App: A Good Initiative But Does it Deliver? [Review]

While Pakistan Railways is at the forefront of government entities going in loss, it remains a popular method of travel in the country. To their credit, they have been slowly but surely trying to modernize. In a continuation of those efforts, they have released their own official Pak Railways app.

The app allows access to some of the features available on the website like searching for available trains and booking tickets but as we found out, it comes with its own share of problems as well.

Getting Started

When you first open the app, you’re greeted with the app logo at the start, followed by page that lets you register or sign in.

Registration Issues and Workaround

Registration for the app did not work for us. In some cases it would send the SMS code for verification but not the email verification code (note: you need both for registering) or vice versa. In our case, the app blocked access to registration completely as it would not register the phone number at all.

You can however access the app by tapping “Guest Sign In”. Doing so will take you to the main page of the app.

As we could not successfully register an account, access to “Tickets” option was blocked. You need an account to access it.

Timings

You can however access the other options on the app. When you tap the Timings option, you are taken to a list of trains. Here you can search for the train and view the timings and the route of the train.

Travel

Another option that worked well is the “Travel” option. You can tap on “Travel” from the main page and search for available trains and ticket costs. You will be required to enter the number of adults or children that need to travel with departure date as well as departure point and arrival point.

You are limited to tapping on the “+” and “-” signs to input the number of passengers which is a small but important detail which hinders user experience. You should have the option to input a number directly instead.

Searching for a train going from Rawalpindi to Lahore got us the above result. Its worth pointing out that the Pakistan Railways website works the same way and even displays the results in a similar manner.

Helpline

The helpline option is pretty basic as it just basically dials the Pakistan Railways Helpline number for you. All you need to do is enter your city code and tap “Call Helpline”.

The Freight Option

The “Freight” option is unfortunately broken. You can input the commodity you need to transport with the departure and arrival points for the freight. Once you search for it, you always get the following error:

We tried using several different types of commodities with various departure and arrival destinations however we always ended up with this error.

Feedback

The feedback option works normally and can let you share your suggestions with Pakistan Railways. You can tap on “complaint” to send a complaint as well.

Tapping on “Cleanliness” will open up a drop down list of possible complaints that you can send to Pakistan Railways. You can choose from the following options:

Final Words

The design language is dated and devoid of any animations with flat buttons and an unappealing UI. Some may appreciate it as it provides simple and straightforward access to everything on the app but considering that this is 2017, we’d have liked for the app to follow modern design guidelines.

When you couple the design issues with problems like you can’t register from the app at all, it drastically lowers the value proposition of the app. We were limited to searching for trains and fares only. The Freight option didn’t work at all either.

To summarize, while Pakistan Railways should be commended for trying to make an effort to cater to smartphone users, we hope that they improve the app and make it actually usable.

Download the Pakistan Railway app on Google Playstore.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.


  • 1861 to 2017 = 156 Years Lagy Kuch Naya Karne Main :

    Good Work :
    Wish you best of Luck Pakistan RailWay !

  • NO doubt tabdeeli arhi ha !

    • habib ullah

      rong

  • SSyar

    First line from this article,,

    While Pakistan Railways is at the forefront of government entities going in loss

    First para from another article,,

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has been aiming to improve government institutes. Education sector was the first priority and after effective reforms, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) managed to move 34,000 children
    from private to the improved public schools.

    this is exactly what i was expecting from ProP..,

    • Owais Zafar

      Such blogs should avoid political discrimination in their articles learn to appreciate positivism regardless of any personal interest its a duty of blog owner and all of us.

    • KMQ

      Nailed it!

  • habib ullah

    Shahid Aminb joka na karo bro wo jo ap kah raha hay wo tabdli nh arhi wo barbadi hay pak k lia

  • Zafar Abbas Rizvi

    I am alao not getting email

    • Owais Zafar

      Please email us at [email protected] ur mobile number which u used to make ur account inshAllah ur issue will be resolved and u will get confirmation call we are here to support u 24/7. Thanks

      • Owais Zafar

        InshAllah we will find you everywhere to fix your issue and will notify unless you will be our valued customer this is our new goal without any political influence think like a Pakistani appreciate the effort done by Pakistan Railways and bare with us we are with you since 1861

  • Owais Zafar

    Being the developer of this app including app design, development of android app development of back end for this application I appreciate all the facts you mentioned and you will see the improvements in next version. Its the start of a new era of Pakistan Railways. But I am so happy to see the response of public got lots of signups and 5 stars ratings within 12 hours after official launch by our Federal Minister: Mr. Saad Rafiq which was live Yesterday on Pakistan Television (PTV). Please remember me in your prayers. Being a civil servant myself its a humble effort for the public of Pakistan. Prayers Needed! Thanks a lot for the documentation you did for me ProPakistani I am a big fan of you guys.

    Owais Zafar
    Anyone can Whatsapp any issue to me regarding mobile app or suggestion on this number +923174167536

    • rehmat

      Good work, keep it up. alot more needs to be done

    • Nizamani

      Sir Simply awsome

    • Zohaib

      Owais Zafar Sahab, since you said you are here to help us out. So let me bring a genuine issue in your knowledge which you might already be aware of.
      Online reservations whether it be from this app or from the railway stations from Karachi, one can only get “returned bookings” till Sukkur only. Shikarpur, Jacobabad etc are not even computerized yet though both are large districts of Sindh. Why computerization is only till Sukkur? Because of this issue the booking staff openly ask for bribe on each n every single booking as their birthright. And even they strike out the original ticket prices and fix rates by their own with pen.
      So how long these practices will go? Nobody cares whatever happening there. When railway is emerging as a modern entity then why not these big districts are yet not computerized? Is railway only meant for big cities like Lahore, Karachi etc?
      I know only about these mentioned cities as i travel and experienced myself. And these practices are openly going on even you can check.
      So this app is useless for those who are traveling there. Waiting for your reply.

      • Owais Zafar

        Pakistan Railways is a big entity and a major mode of transport of goods and passengers we are trying our best under the limited resources available to come Pakistan Railways out of financial loss we are baring annually. InshAllah with public support we will grow and everyone will see for that we all have to think positively and appreciate if some little and humble effort is done by someone as a civil servant thank you so much for you time and interest you shown in your comment i will address your issues in front of upper management because sometimes Pakistan Railways has certain rules because its not a financial department its for public facilitation. Once again thank you for your feedback i took it positively. Allah Hafiz

  • Kaithsi Damha

    Good initiative indeed for developing this App. and hope it will work smoothly.
    When they started booking via website, I never got any booking via credit/debit card. Every time it returned the query to first page. Hopefully in App, it will work.
    will do test their effort again on my Android, lets hope for good.

    • Owais Zafar

      Sure we would love to see your response in case of any issue you can email me at [email protected] regarding Pakistan Railways mobile app issues your feedback will be taken positively because without public support public department can not mature we should at least appreciate the efforts done for the sake good regardless of any political affiliation. Thanks.

  • Gulfam Mustafa

    A couple of days ago, I purchased railway ticket just because they were accepting credit cards and it was convenient for me to buy this ticket and reserve a seat in business class. Things are improving gradually but we have become habitual to criticize almost everything.

  • Uzair Farooqi

    I think app was developed by Saad Rafiq’s Son or Grand Son as a semester project ?
    Dont know what else to say ???

    • Owais Zafar

      No this app is not being developed by Saad Rafiq’s Son or Grand Son as a semester project dont know what else to say its thinking problem :)

  • taymor hussain

    Well, be Pakistani, buy Pakistani.
    In this case download to support Pakistani app developers and the need for apps. I download Pakistani apps to support them, and show that there is someone who wants them.

    Most Pakistanis only look at the bad things, thats why our country went down and people didn´t do anything. Now someone is trying to better themselves, even if only a tiny bit, but thats a giant step in Pakistan, and our people are already showing that they aren´t really our people.

  • Friendly Neighbour

    does any one wana know a secret….. book your seats exactly 2 week before departure (i.e. 14 days) you can avail lower rates upto Rs.660/ savings in lower/A.C class and more saving in business and sleeper class… ;) hope this helps