Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Advantages Of USSD Based Train Reservation

  • No need of internet, computer or electricity for USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) based train ticket booking as primarily it is booking through SMS. This makes it very advantageous for rural areas where such facilities are generally not available.
  • Since there is no requirement of internet throughout the ticket booking process, therefore smart phones are not required and hence most entry level phones can be used as only SMS facility is required which is available on most of the phones.
  • Mobile phones are more affordable for common people than computers and internet.
  • No need to stand in long queues for booking train tickets.
  • The booking process is very simple as it interactive and menu guided.
  • No need to have debit / credit cards.
  • Booking process shows quick response time.

Essential Requirement: 

To start with, you must be registered with IRCTC. During registration, login ID and password will be created for IRCTC. This can be done either by visiting www.irctc.co.in and creating a valid user account or by sending SMS to 139. The process is explained below.

1. Send SMS to 139 in the following format.

REG [First Name] [Last Name] [Date of Birth DDMMYY]
For example REG Rajesh Kumar 140490

2. You will receive a response SMS from 139 similar to one given below.

Thank you for registration request. Your registered Username is sc201749.

3. To receive activate this account, send one more SMS to 139 in the following format.


For example, REGCODE 5381 
Please note that TPIN number is to be decided by the customer.

4. You will receive a response SMS from 139 similar to one given below.

You have been successfully registered with IRCTC. Your user id is kp285749 and password is 4893. You can use this ID for ticket booking and also for login to www.irctc.co.in. Thank you for using SMS 139 services.

Another requirement is that you should have a mobile with Airtel connection and it should be registered with IRCTC. 

Booking Train Ticket Through AIRTEL MONEY

To book train ticket using Airtel Money, you should make a registration at Airtel website. For this, you may visit Airtel website. A part of the screen which follows is shown below.

Airtel Money Registration

As it is obvious from above screen, you have to enter your Airtel mobile number, first name, last name, email ID, date of birth and 4 digit mPIN number chosen by you for getting registered with Airtel Money. The 4 digit mPIN is nothing but a security password just like a ATM pin.

The next step is depositing money in your Airtel Money account. This can be done either through internet using Net Banking, Credit Card, Debit / Maestro Card or by visiting authorized Airtel Money outlets. To locate Airtel Money outlets, SMS OUTLET <PINCODE> to 121.

Now, you can make railway reservation. For this, dial *400# from your registered Airtel mobile. From the screen of your mobile, select "Book Tickets" and then "Rail Booking" options. Choose 'Reservation" if you don't know the trains otherwise select "Easybook" if you know the train number. Follow the remaining instructions to enter the other journey details such as starting station, destination station, passenger details, journey date and class to complete the booking.

The following points should be kept in mind while booking a ticket through Airtel Money.
  • You can make PNR enquiry, search train, check seat availability and cancel tickets through Airtel Money Portal (AMP).
  • You cannot book Tatkal tickets through AMP.
  • Your handset should support USSD service otherwise you may not be able to use all the features of AMP.
  • IRCTC train reservation service can not be availed through AMP from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It is also not available from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for every one. However, Check PNR and Cancellation services are available 24 hours.
  • You can book maximum of 6 adult passengers and 2 child passengers per rail ticket on one PNR. Please note that no ticket will be issued for child passengers. The age of child passengers should be less than 5 years.
  • To claim refund due to certain reasons, passengers have to file TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt). The reasons are given below.
          a. Train Cancelled By Railways and Passenger Not Travelled.
          b. Train running Late by More than Three hours.
          c. AC Failure
          d. Travelled without proper ID proof
          e. Wrongly charged by TTE
          f. Party partially travelled
          g. Passenger Not travelled
  • TDR should be filed within 30 days of departure of train.
IRCTC LOGIN and Indian Railways Additional Resources:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Indian Railways Break Journey Rules

Indian Railways allows holders of single journey tickets for distance of more than 500 km and up to 1000 km (actual distance) to break journey once for two days at any station en-route. This facility can be availed only after travelling 500 km from the starting station. If ticket is for more than 1000 km, passenger will be allow to break journey twice. For example, a passenger with single journey ticket for 800 km will not be allowed to break his journey at 423 km. A passenger with single journey ticket for 600 km will be permitted to  break his journey at 501 km for 2 days maximum. The day of departure and arrival must be excluded while calculating the number of eligible days for first break of journey and ticket should be endorsed by the station manager/ ticket collector at the station where the break journey is intended.

Important Points Regarding Break Journey

  • This facility is not available to passengers travelling by Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ Jan Shatabdi express trains.
  • This facility is not permitted short of the station up to which reservation has been done.
  • Intention to break journey is to be advised at the time of original booking and not after obtaining reservation.
  • Whenever a through passenger detrains at a station en-route for catching a connecting train, it should not be treated as break journey provided such halt is for less than 24 hours. For example, the holder of a direct ticket from Pune to Jammu Tawi via Dadar travels from Pune to Bombay by any day train a day earlier in order to catch Bombay-Jammu Tawi Express next morning leaving Bombay at 6.25 hours shall not be treated as break journey.
  • Break of journey is not permissible on the tickets of certain trains like Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, etc., which have separate all inclusive fare structure on point-to-point basis, and therefore, refund on such partially used tickets is also not admissible.
  • Passengers are required to have their tickets endorsed. The endorsement shall consist of the Station Code, Station Master's initials and the date.
  • Passengers breaking journey and not obtaining the endorsement as prescribed will be treated as persons travelling without a proper ticket and dealt with accordingly.
  • Passengers breaking the journey en-route except for catching a connecting train within 24 hours must surrender their tickets at the station where journey is broken. Refund for the un-travelled portion on such tickets will be allowed in special circumstances only subject to the condition laid down in the rules and provided also that the procedure given in that rule is followed.
  • Break journey shall not be permitted short of the station up to which reservation has been done. If a passenger seeking reservation on through tickets asks for break journey en route it should be clearly indicated on the Requisition form the names of the station where the break journey is requested. Reservation in this case will be done up to break journey station only.
IRCTC and Indian Railways Additional Resources:
Source: www.indianrailways.gov.in

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tatkal Reservation Rules

Tatkal Reservation Scheme was initially introduced by Indian Railways in December, 1997 for providing reservation to those passengers who have to undertake journey at short notice and to save such passengers from the clutches of unscrupulous elements/ touts. Initially this scheme was available only in around 110 trains and mainly in Sleeper Class. The salient features of this scheme as on date are as under:-

  • Tatkal booking for AC classes opens at 10:00 a.m. on the previous day of journey excluding date of journey from the train originating station. For non-AC classes, Tatkal booking starts at 11:00 a.m. on the previous day of journey excluding date of journey from the train originating station. For example, if train is to depart from the originating station on the second of the month, the Tatkal quota for that particular train shall open at 10:00/11:00 a.m. on the first of the month.
  • The reservation under this scheme can be sought by full fare paying passengers only and no passenger holding concessional ticket is allowed to avail reservation under this scheme.
  • The reservation under this scheme is available only upto the time of preparation of charts. At the time of preparation of charts, the vacant Tatkal accommodation is released to the RAC/ waitlisted passengers and no Tatkal charges are realised from such passengers.
  • No duplicate Tatkal tickets are issued. Duplicate Tatkal tickets are issued only in exceptional cases on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges.
  • The facility of change of name is not permitted on the bookings made under Tatkal scheme.
  • In case of tickets booked under Tatkal scheme, during the journey, one of the passengers booked on that ticket is required to produce any one of the prescribed proof of identity mentioned below (in original), failing which all the passengers booked on that ticket are considered as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly:-

1. Voter Photo Identity Card issued by Election Commission of India.
2. PAN Card issued by Income Tax Department
3. Driving Licence issued by RTO
4. Unique Identification Card “Aadhar “.
5. Passport
6. Nationalised Bank Passbook with photograph
7. Photo Identity Card issued by Central/ State Government
8. Credit Cards issued by Banks with laminated photograph.
9. Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized School/ College for their students.
10. Photo identity cards having serial number issued by Public Sector Undertakings of State/ Central Government, District Administrations, Municipal bodies and Panchayat Administrations.

REFUNDS: Keeping in view the short Advance Reservation Period and with a view to make this scheme economically unviable for unscrupulous elements/touts, refund rules of the scheme have been made stringent in which no refund is granted on the confirmed Tatkal tickets. However, full refund of fare and Tatkal charges is granted on the tickets booked under Tatkal scheme under certain circumstances like non-attachment of coach, cancellation of train, as explained below:-

1. If the train is delayed by more than 3 hours at the journey originating point of the passenger & not the boarding point if the passenger’s journey originating point and boarding point are different.
2. If the train is to run on diverted route and boarding station or the destination or both the stations are not on the diverted route.
3. If the train is to run on a diverted route and passenger is not willing to travel.
4. If the party has been accommodated in lower class and does not want to travel. In case the party travels in lower class, the passenger will be given refund of difference of fare and also the
difference of Tatkal charges, if any.
5. In case of non attachment of coach in which Tatkal accommodation has been earmarked and the passenger has not been provided accommodation in the same class.
  • Tatkal charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum as given in the table below:-

Class of Travel
Minimum Tatkal Charges (Rs )
Maximum Tatkal Charges (Rs)
Minimum Distance for Charge (Km)
Reserved Second Sitting (2S)
Sleeper Class
AC Chair Car
AC-3 Tier
AC-2 Tier
Executive Class

In case the total run of the train is less than the distance restriction, end fare i.e. from originating to destination station shall be charged. However, there will be no such restriction for Tatkal scheme in passenger trains.

  • Tatkal tickets are issued subject to the applicable distance restrictions.
  • It is possible to book a maximum of only four passengers per PNR for Tatkal tickets.
  • The web services agents of IRCTC have been permitted to book only one Tatkal ticket per train per day on the internet.
  • All authorised ticketing agents of Indian Railways/IRCTC have been restricted from booking Tatkal tickets at the counters between 1000 hours and 1030 hours for tickets in AC classes and between 1100 hours and 1130 hours for non-AC classes.
  • The maximum Tatkal accommodation available in a train according to class of travel is as given below:-

Class of Travel
Maximum Tatkal accommodation
which can be earmarked in a
normal train composition
Executive Class
5 seats per coach
2 AC
10 Berths Per Coach
3 AC
16 Berths Per Coach
AC Chair Car
16 Seats Per Coach
30% of the accommodation
Reserved Second Sitting (2S)
10% of the accommodation

  • Out of the total berth potential of around 13.43 lakhs berths/ seats per day, on an average, around 2.34 lakh seats/ berths are available for booking under Tatkal every day i.e. approximately 17.39% of the total accommodation.
  • Instructions have also been issued to zonal Railways to introduce Tatkal Reservation scheme in the passenger trains in that train/ class in which average utilisation during the previous financial year has been more than 60%. The minimum Tatkal charges prescribed for different classes will be applicable as flat Tatkal charges. All other conditions applicable to normal Tatkal scheme will be applicable in case of identified passenger trains.