My name is Aloke Mukherjee.
Like almost any boy, I was fascinated by trains when I was a child. It looks like I haven't grown out of it, though! My interest in the railway system extends primarily to the reservation system and its overall travel experience. To my surprise, I found that there was no one-stop website that helped travellers navigate the (rather complicated) experience that can accompany planning a trip on the railway network, booking tickets, understanding the waitlist system, not to mention having a pleasant journey. The official websites are rather bureaucratic and rather unhelpful in explaining the practicalities of railway rules and procedures. The lack of comprehensible information about the railways causes many people to disengage with it entirely and take a bus or flight instead.
While there are extremely useful sites dealing with the Indian Railways, such as Erail, India Rail Info, 90di and IRFCA, I'm yet to find a site that takes the average traveller through nearly any aspect s/he could expect to encounter while interacting with the Indian Railways, though Seat 61 serves as a fairly useful introduction to the Indian Railways. The railways sub-forum on Indiamike is probably the most useful resource for rail travel travel information, though the fact that it's a forum means that the same questions are asked time and time again, and useful posts on the more obscure aspects of travel quickly get buried. It is here that I feel I can contribute by creating an easily navigable, aesthetic website that clarifies rail travel questions in detail.
Ideally, I would like to see a complete novice to the Indian Railway network visit and use this site to plan an easy, hassle-free trip by knowing exactly how the system works; knowing what to expect. However, this site also contains quite a few advanced articles aimed at improving the booking and travel experience of experienced travellers as well.
A little bit about myself - I have a Master's in Sociology at the University of Oxford as well as a Semester Diploma in Social Anthropology and Religion from the University-College of Oslo. I've worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Public Policy, IIM-Bangalore; as an internship co-ordinator at the NGO Resurgent India; and as a transport researcher at EMBARQ India. When I'm not being geeky about trains and have free time, I'm usually reading or travelling - though I guess the latter does involve unhealthy doses of train geekiness.
Also, just to clarify, I do not work for the Indian Railways or have any influence with them, so complaining to me about how your train was late or dirty - or that you really need your waitlisted ticket to get confirmed - won't get you anywhere, apart from a potentially sympathetic shoulder to cry on.
Yes, that's me - watching the countryside of Andhra Pradesh speed by from a (three-hour late!) train bound for Chennai.