Regular Passenger tickets can be bought online, at ticket counters, and through some mobile services. Tickets booked on the website can earn the user prizes and Railway Points that can be reimbursed against further journeys
Booking opens for most trains between 45 – 60 days before the travel date. For the holiday season, this may extend to 90 days. For some trains, the period may be as low as 15 days. Advance booking continues till four hours before the departure time
From four hours till before the departure time, tickets can be bought at the Current booking counters.
Tatkal (Quick) Booking
For a surcharge, it is possible to book tickets reserved in a quota at very short notice even if the regular bookings are full.
Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC)
Three persons per coach may reserve tickets even after the bookings of berths are full. They have reservation of seats, but not berths to sleep. They are confirmed for berths only if there is any cancellation.
Quotas as well as concessions for a variety of groups
When making any changes in the reservations, a charge is levied, that ranges from INR 10 to a good percentage (25 – 50%) of the cost of the ticket. Changes are to be done up till the charting time, and the sooner one makes the changes, the lesser is the charge. For refunds and cancellation after departure of the train, one needs to present the ticket as soon as possible to a ticketing counter. Tickets booked online cannot be canceled likewise, except for E-tickets. They need to be presented to a booking counter.
Indian Rail Passes
IndRail passes are designed for the convenience of foreign nationals and non-resident Indians who want to travel in India. Payment is required to be made in foreign currency, and the pass is issued against an identity proof (e.g.: passport). The pass validity period ranges from one day to 90 days, and allows the pass holder unlimited access to travel on regular passenger services.. Passes are available for use in different classes of accommodation, ranging from First Class AC to Sleeper class.
Advantages of the IndRail passes are:
These are tickets that allow an individual to travel along a route that ends at the station the journey started. The passenger is not allowed to move through one station twice. There are a few standard routes available, but it is possible to customize a route that suits one's needs.
The complete trip has a specific duration, and eight breaks are allowed in the journey. The duration allowed is significantly more than that allowed if one buys ordinary tickets. A break is defined as a stop of over 24 hours at an intermediate point.
The fare is calculated by doubling the fare applicable to half the traveled distance.
These are sight-seeing tours arranged by the IRCTC that include train travel, hotel stay, any road transport that applies and meals as part of the package. The packages have itineraries that may be fixed or flexible. Any expenses for tours and sight-seeing activities that are included in the itinerary are covered by the package. Different packages operate at different times of the year. There are Budget, Standard and Deluxe options.
The Rail Tour Packages are open to only Indian citizens – residential and non residential. The IRCTC website provides all the details for the different packages, including the quality of accommodation, meals, and travel and price and itinerary. It is possible to book the tour online by paying via credit card or Internet banking or by paying by cash or demand draft at an IRCTC office.
In event of canceling a tour package, a cancellation charge that ranges from INR 100 to the full package value is levied.