Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation are in charge of online ticket booking for the Indian Railways, through its website.
While some services have time slots, some are available all the time.
Example: Booking of tickets can only be done from 5 am to 11.30 pm.
Only registered members can use the site. Registration ensures a secure use of cards to pay online, as no details are stored on the website.
- E-tickets – The passenger prints out these electronic tickets after booking online. One is required to give details of an identity proof to book an E-ticket and to carry it during the journey. E-tickets can be canceled online.
- I-tickets – These Internet tickets are booked online, but are couriered to the passengers address. These cannot be canceled online, and one is required to go to a booking office to do so.
- Tatkal – These tickets are booked a maximum of five days before the departure date at a premium rate of an additional INR 15 – 300. This can be either as an E-ticket or an I-ticket.
- PNR and seat availability: These services are available between 8am to 8 pm on weekdays, and 8am to 2pm on Sundays.
- SMS services: Updates are available on SMS.
- Arrival and departure timings: Any updates on the train timings for any particular day.
- Grievances and Suggestions: IRCTC is developing software that will gather details on user problems, and use it to improve service.
- Trains between important stations: The function gives not only the list of trains linking the chosen stations, but also the seat availability details, and arrival and departure timings.
- Concessional Fares: This option displays the fare according to the valid categories.
- Station Codes: This service helps in finding the code for a station name, and vice versa.
- Train Schedule: This service helps one to find the appropriate train, and the “Get Route” option within it supplies one with all the stations on the route with arrival and departure timings.
Online Reservation Process
One first accesses the list of trains available from a said starting point to a said destination. Sometimes, there may be no trains connecting the two stations, in which case close-by stations should be checked.
On getting a list of trains, one is required to give the expected date of departure. Next, one chooses the desired train and class of travel to check for availability and fare details.
Once the details are confirmed, one fills in the passenger details. The payment is made via one of the available gateways, and the process is completed. The system generates a unique transaction ID for each purchase. If the final Output page does not load, it is possible to verity the successful completion of booking in the profile archives.
If the transaction is not completed, the amount paid is credited back to the card account.
I-tickets are delivered to the address of choice in 2-3 working days.
Online Reservation Payment
- Credit Cards: There are two gateways provided, one operated by ICICI Bank and the other by HDFC Bank. Any Visa / Master card may be used, and 1.8% transaction charge is applicable
- Direct Debit: This facility takes the customer to the bank website, from where the payment to IRCTC is authorized. A number of banks offer this facility, amongst which are
A transaction charge of Rs. 0 – 10 is levied according to the bank rules.
- ICICI Bank
- IDBI Bank
- Punjab National Bank
- Done Card
- Union Bank of India
- ITZ Cash Card: A cash card may be used, and a transaction charge is levied here as well.
Online Reservation Cancellation
In case of a cancellation, no cash refund is given, but the amount is credited back to the card account. A service charge which is either a percentage charge or a flat rate is deducted from the total.
Season tickets can be booked online using one of the payment gateways, and are then delivered to a desired address via courier in 5 cities - Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Surat, and Thane.
A mismatch in the printed and the actual ID card number will result in the travel being considered as being without ticket. It is not possible to cancel season tickets.