LOCATION: Bangalore City Railway Station
TIME: 6:00 PM on a Friday
SCENE: Around 50 commuters, with varied levels of urgency, expectantly looking at the electronic train schedule display board.
What they did not realize for quite some time was that staring at that display board was not going to help. This was what it showed:
I am not sure whether the technicians at the railway station chose the rush hour for some live testing (some geeks call it UAT or QA testing…). Or did the 2012 railway budget include some provisions for test trains ??!
To compensate for the non-functional display board, there were computer monitors placed all around – there were too many of them. They were running Windows XP and the system admin did not know how to launch the schedule display software. Finally, he gave up and switched the display to this:
Looked like Lord Venkateshwara, the second richest God, had been summoned to revive the cash-strapped railways. But He could not help our angered passengers either. The saviour of the day was a lady sitting behind the ‘General Enquiry’ desk whose job of the day was to blurt out an integral number (platform number) at every train name that was thrown at her.
Just as I expected, the coach position displays on the platform were not functioning either. With much difficulty, I got into my compartment. As the train slowly chugged out of the station, I noticed the monitors on the platform showing the train schedules momentarily, only to be replaced by a tractor advertisement. How useful !!