Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks in the world ranking fourth on the list with more than 20,000 trains running on its wide web of tracks. Indian Railway continues to be the first choice for the major part of over a billion population in the country and for all the obvious reasons. With technological advancements and a modern perspective in several aspects the Indian Railways booking has become more effortless with time. The IR has made its train ticket booking uncomplicated and hassle-free. You can now make Indian Railway enquiry with ease with an internet connection and a smart device. Gone are the days when you had to queue up at the railway station for a train enquiry. Now all you need to do is visit the website of National Train Enquiry System (NTES) for any of your railway enquiry.
You can book a train seat 120 days ahead in General quota while Tatkal tickets can be booked a day in advance. You need to know that Indian Railways reservation has different travel classes and quotas with different counter timings. The general quota opens between 8 am to 8.30 am while the tatkal quota opens from 10 am to 10.30 am. If you have booked the non AC tatkal quota then its counter will be open between 11 am to 11.30 am.
In order to check the Indian Railway seat availability visit indianrail.gov.in and click on seat availability which will ask you to provide in details like train number, journey date, source station, destination station, class and quota. Alternatively, you can also go to the NTES website and click on seat/berth availability to the extreme left of the page. On selecting the option you will be redirected to the website of indianrail.gov.in. In case you’re still to book train ticket then you can click on the seat/berth booking which is an option just below the seat/berth availability. The booking option will take you to the IRCTC website where you can make your train ticket booking.
There are different quotas and classes of travel in the Indian Railways. The different quotas are General, Tatkal, Premium Tatkal, Ladies, Defence, Parliament House, Foreign Tourist, Yuva and Duty Pass. Following are the classes of travel that you can choose from when booking your train ticket:
First class AC: This class provides the most comfortable train travel with privacy and no disturbance. It comes with spacious coaches and latest facilities and bigger cabins.
Second class AC: It is a bit less than the first class when it comes to facilities but will guarantee you a similar travel experience. Go for it if you’re looking for a comfortable travel with less expense.
Third class AC: If you are not too fussy about the facilities and features while travelling and all you need is an air conditioned coach then this is the best class for you. Sleeper class: This an affordable class of travel for people who want a budget-friendly journey. It comes without AC and is generally crowded so brace up yourself before your journey.
AC chair car: If you are someone who needs to travel for a few hours then this is the class you can opt for. You can also call in meals from the onboard catering service.
To check a train status you need to go to NTES which gives you a lowdown on the location of a train by tracking its live location with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) thereby sending you information about the train’s current station, departure from the last station and estimated arrival time at the next station. Follow the steps below to check the live status of trains. Once you are on the website of NTES you will see a list of nine options in the top tab. To know the status of your train select the specific tab and type in the station name.
-Click on the Trains between stations, type in the departure and destination train stations and the train type to receive information on the schedule of a train. To spot a train, select Spot your train and enter train name or number. To get faster and accurate results, it’s better to provide train name.
-By clicking on Trains Cancelled you will receive a detailed information on fully cancelled trains and partially cancelled trains. Fully Cancelled trains are the trains not running from the source to destination station while the Partially Cancelled Trains run only on a part of the route. Simply type in the train number and the start date to get information on cancelled trains.
-To check if your train has been rescheduled, select the rescheduled Trains which will give you information on the rescheduled trains. Fill in your train number to check whether it has been rescheduled or not. Likewise, you can get information on diverted trains as well.
Tejas Express: The Indian Railways is set to reform and improve the passenger experience by making the train trips nothing less than air travel. Now you will be offered the flight-like experience while travelling in a train with Tejas Express going for a makeover. The IR is expected to come up with 23 new coaches with facilities including motor-operated windows, luxurious leather seats, infotainment LCD screens, USB charging points, GPS-based passenger information system, and modular touch-free toilets with bio-vacuum system.
Train 18: The IR is soon to launch Train 18 which is touted to be the fastest train in India. The train is said to run on a speed of 180 kmph and does not require a locomotive as it runs on an electric traction just like metro trains. Both the trains are going to revolutionise the face of the Indian Railways.
A programme set up by the Indian Railways in which you can make an attempt to book your tickets even on a short notice, and such a booking can be made both online, and straight off a railway counter. The Tatkal scheme is applicable to all trains and reserved classes in India. Typically a Tatkal booking begins a day ahead of the travel date. Here are some ready tips on how to make a train ticket booking on Tatkal.
Did you know that with about 1.4 million employees, Indian Railways is the world’s eighth-largest employer?
Before you book your train ticket, you need to apprise yourself of the different types of trains under Indian Railways banner.
Double Decker Express
Jan Shatabdi Express
Sampark Kranti Express
Kavi Guru Express
Rajya Rani Express
Jan Sadharan Express
and a whole section of fast passenger trains, suburban trains, metro, luxury trains and mountain railways.
The Palace on Wheels promotes tourism in Rajasthan by doing a round-trip from New Delhi via Jaipur and covers Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bharatpur, and Agra. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels too caters to several such destinations in Rajasthan including Khajuraho and Varanasi. The Maharajas’ Express again takes you to destinations in central India including parts of Rajasthan. While aboard the Deccan Odyssey you can explore the lush Konkan belt by exploring destinations in Maharashtra and Goa.
Log on to the IRCTC website using your login and password. Hit ‘book ticket’ and fill up your travel details. Further pick the train of your choice and continue your booking. Then add the number of passengers, and confirm your booking. You will land up on the payment gateway.
For any train enquiry related to the platform number, go to the ‘train platform enquiry’ tab on the IRCTC website to the top left-hand corner. Then enter the train number and the railway station name. Further click on ‘submit’, and you will have the necessary details.
For any kind of query you may have about an Indian Railways booking, you can call up 139. You can find out about PNR status, correct arrival and departure time of trains, train seat availability, including berths in various trains, and not to mention, train fares of different classes. Alternatively, you can inquire through an SMS to the same number, and get your required updates. However, you have to first type your PNR, and then punch the PNR number of 10-digits after giving a space before sending out the SMS.
You can check the same on railyatri.in, by going into the live train status. Here you need to enter the train number or name, and select on what day the train commenced its journey. Then click ‘check status’.
TDR translates into Ticket Deposit Receipt. E-tickets don’t have any TDRs. To file a TDR for tickets booked on IRCTC, you need to first login to your account, and go into ‘booked ticket history’. Check the list of tickets whose journey date has expired. Pick the PNR for which you wish to file the TDR, and hit ‘file TDR’. Fetch the passenger name from the ticket details and claim your TDR refund. The refund process takes approx 60 days.
Meaning Pooled Quota Waiting List, and this is typically when your travel starts from any intermediate station to the final destination, or origin station to one of the intermediate stations. For instance, the PQWL is 30, and in the wait-list the count is 24. Either the PQWL stays as is, or WL24 changes owing to some passenger cancellation. This could lead to you either falling in the RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) category, or landing a confirmed ticket.
Login to your IRCTC account, but make sure you do it before 10 am. Go to your profile and fetch the master list of passengers, at this stage you can either add more passengers or modify the existing passenger list. You need to go back to your profile again and select ‘list of favourite journey’. Fill up all train details, station of origin and termination, and save your details. Login to the IRCTC website a few minutes before 10 am, and select the information you have already filled up and saved. And submit all your details. You need to select Tatkal and then hit ‘book now’. Eventually you will be directed to the payment gateway.
Only six passengers can be booked on a single ticket of general quota. However, for Tatkal bookings four passengers are permitted per ticket.
You can transfer your ticket only to a blood relation such as father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, except husband and wife. For the same, you need to be holding a confirmed ticket, and file an application 24-hour ahead of the scheduled departure time to the station manager along with a legit proof of your relation with the said member.
The Tatkal waiting list is less-likely to get confirmed. When a chart is prepared, the General Waiting List (GNWL) usually gets preference over Tatkal Waiting List (CKWL). But if a Tatkal ticket climbs up the chart it is deemed confirmed, and doesn’t get slotted under RAC unlike in a general category. And you have a seat availability in train.
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