IRCTC Ticket Booking

IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) has changed the face of train travel in India. Besides e-tickets, it also offers i-tickets (regular tickets). These tickets are booked online and delivered by post to your doorstep. IRCTC next generation website also offers rail tour packages, spanning hotel bookings, tourist trains, car rentals, e-ticketing as well as i-ticketing. It also runs a 24*7 support centre that helps passengers with issues like train ticketing, train timings, tour bookings and seat availability. Also, did you know? One can check live train PNR status on ixigo trains app or its website. So for a seamless and fast IRCTC train ticket booking experience, book via ixigo.

IRCTC Ticket Booking Types

There are different types of IRCTC ticket bookings such as CNF, RAC, WL, GNWL, PQWL, RLWL, TQWL. Here are some details about these different types of ticket booking status:
  1. CNF - It means confirmed. The ticket status shows as CNF when seats are confirmed.
  2. RAC - It stands for Reservation Against Cancellation meaning the train ticket has a confirmed seat but wait-listed berth. If the tickets are booked under RAC status, then the allocated berth has to be split into two seats.
  3. WL - Waiting List is a ticket status that gets confirmed only if the passengers on the same train who have booked before you cancel their ticket.
  4. GNWL - General Waiting List. The probability of this ticket status getting confirmed is very high.
  5. PQWL - Pooled Quota Waiting List status is issued when a passenger is travelling from the origin station to a station short of the last station, or from an intermediate station to the last station, or between any two intermediate stations.
  6. RLWL - Remote Location Waiting List means a ticket has been issued to a passenger for intermediate stations (between the origin and terminating station). These intermediate stations are usually the most important towns on the route in particular.
  7. TQWL - Tatkal Quota Waiting List. This is the waiting list for Tatkal tickets. The tickets in Tatkal get confirmed directly, instead of going through RAC. However during chart preparation GNWL is preferred over TQWL.

Tatkal Ticket Booking

Tatkal ticket booking facility is available in all Mail/Express trains including all special trains. Tatkal means 'immediately’. It enables a passenger to book a ticket one day in advance of the actual date of journey. It can be booked online on ixigo.com or via an agent and through a Indian Railways reservation window. Tatkal tickets can be cancelled. Introduced in 2014, Premium tatkal and tatkal are the same but it costs more than twice of a tatkal ticket. Premium Tatkal can only be booked online and the tickets cannot be cancelled.

Ladies Quota in IRCTC

IRCTC Ladies Quota ticket booking was introduced in the year 2011, which provides concessions to women who are either travelling alone or with a child below 12 years of age. There are only 6 berths available under ladies quota in the entire train. These concessions are offered only in sleeper class (SL) and second sitting (2S).

IRCTC Senior Citizen Quota

IRCTC also offers discounted tickets for senior citizens, students, disabled citizens and more. One can pay through cash, credit cards and debit cards on the IRCTC website and the IRCTC Mobile App. Also, for the latest online information about where is my train for any train or any destination, you can now check it through ixigo website or train app.

Unreserved Ticketing System

"Unreserved Ticketing System on mobile" (UTS) is an app which allows passengers to book an unreserved paperless ticket for a journey between any two stations. This app eliminates any need for a passenger to visit a counter for an unreserved ticket. After booking, one can also collect the unreserved paperless ticket from an automatic ticket vending machine in any part of the country.

Also with an offline mode, it helps the passengers to access the ticket even without internet. One can pay for a ticket through an R-wallet (Railway wallet), an online wallet by the Indian Railways. For example, you can use your unreserved ticket at stations in cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Secunderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.

Download the app and register to use the R-wallet. You can recharge your R-wallet at any railway booking counter. But, remember you cannot recharge beyond INR 5000. You can also buy platform tickets as well as season and journey tickets using the app. For an unreserved ticket, you can book 15 metres away from any station. For journey tickets, you can book 5 km from the starting station. While for a platform ticket, the distance is 2 km from the departure station. These restrictions do not apply on the booking of a season ticket.

Your ticket is sent to the app where you can use the 'show ticket' option to check the ticket at the time of checking.

FTR (Full Tariff Rate)

To make online booking of train coaches easier for occasions such as marriage party or tour, IRCTC FTR (Full Tariff Rate) allows bookings for an entire train or a single coach via its website. One can book through a 'single window booking system' of IRCTC.

The registration can be done a maximum of six months in advance and a minimum of 30 days before the journey date. Indian Railways have fixed a security deposit of Rs. 50,000/coach and in case of special trains a minimum of 18 coaches will be charged. The whole transaction has to be carried out only digitally. A facilitation charge of 5% is levied by IRCTC on your total fare for booking these trains or coaches.

Presently, IRCTC FTR booking is allowed only for journeys starting from the stations of the Western Railway Zone. At the time of booking, an individual or a party needs to provide basic information like the booking type, the route and details of the coaches. Once the registration is done, you get a reference number and a registration amount. After the payment against the reference number is complete, an FTR number is generated. IRCTC needs to receive the amount within six days of making the registration.

In case of cancellation of an FTR booking or IRCTC decides to cancel your booking, the refund is processed through a manual procedure which involves the Chief Commercial Manager.

A maximum of 10 coaches can be booked by a party through FTR in a single train on a single tour. However, you can book a maximum of 24 coaches of an FTR train which includes 2 SLR (Seating-cum-Luggage Rake) coaches. The registration amount for a coach for 1 week is Rs. 50,000. For extended journeys beyond 7 days, an additional INR 10,000 per day, per coach is charged.

IRCTC Valid ID Proof

  1. Aadhar card
  2. Passport
  3. Pan Card
  4. Driving License
  5. Central/State Government issued Photo ID card
  6. Nationalised Bank Passbook
  7. Student ID Card Issued by Govt. Approved School/College

IRCTC Quotas

There are 12 different types of quotas in the ticket reservation system offered by the Indian Railways including General, Ladies, Tatkal, Senior Citizen and so on. When booking starts in the Advance Reservation Period, which is 4 months before the journey day, only about half of the seats are made available for the general public. The remaining seats are divided into various quotas and only travellers of select categories are permitted to book train tickets under these quotas. The 12 different quotas are:
  1. Premium Tatkal Quota
  2. Tatkal Quota
  3. Ladies Quota
  4. Senior Citizen Quota
  5. Defence Quota
  6. Lower Berth Quota
  7. Physically Handicapped Quota
  8. Headquarters/High official Quota
  9. Parliament House Quota
  10. Foreign Tourist Quota
  11. Duty Pass Quota
  12. Yuva Quota

IRCTC Train Types

  1. Vande Bharat Express
  2. Tejas Express
  3. Humsafar Express
  4. Rajdhani Express
  5. Shatabdi Express
  6. Duronto Express
  7. Intercity-Express
  8. Jansadharan Express
  9. Antyodaya Express
  10. Vivek Express
  11. Gatimaan Express
  12. Jan Shatabdi Express
  13. Garib Rath Express
  14. Mahamana Express
  15. Rajya Rani Express
  16. Sampark Kranti Express
  17. Uday Express
  18. Yuva Express
  19. Kavi Guru Express
  20. Double Decker Express
  21. AC Express

IRCTC Tour Packages

There are several special tourist trains and tour packages offered by IRCTC that take passengers through the most famous destinations across the length and breadth of India.

Bharat Darshan:

‘Bharat Darshan Special Tourist Train’ is one of the most affordable, all-inclusive tour package, covering some of the most popular tourist places in the country.
  • Destinations: Guruvayur, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Mysore, Rameshwaram, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Kurnool Town
  • Fares: Starts from Rs.10,395 per person
  • Duration: 10 Nights/11 Days

North East Safari:

The best word that describes the North East is dreamy! If you have always dreamt of spending a vacation in a gorgeous place, then North East is where you should go.
  • Destinations: Guwahati, Shillong, Kaziranga
  • Fares: Starts from Rs.27,470 per person
  • Duration: 5 Nights

Golden Triangle of North India:

‘Golden Triangle of North India’ is an package that takes you across the picturesque landscapes of several beautiful cities.
  • Destinations: Agra, Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri and Jaipur
  • Fares: INR 10,085 approximately
  • Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days

Fairy Queen Express:

The historical Steam Express is a 60-seater air-conditioned chair car that recreates an old-world charm and chugs along some of the most historically important destinations in the country.
  • Destinations: Delhi, Alwar and Rewari
  • Fares: Rs.3,402 per adult, Rs.1,701 per child
  • Duration: 1 Night/2 Days

Dakshin Bharat Darshan:

Now come experience the amazing beauty of India by taking this awesome package offered by IRCTC.
  • Destinations: Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Madurai, Mallikarjun, Rameshwaram, Tiruchirapalli, Tirupati and Trivandrum
  • Fares: Rs.12,285 per adult
  • Duration: 12 Nights/13 Days

Indian Railways Luxury Trains:

IRCTC has a total of 7 luxury trains in India which takes passengers to some of the famous travel destinations in India. These 7 elite trains of India cater to tourists who want to explore the rich cultural heritage of India in the lap of luxury. From incredible interiors to mesmeric ambience and lavish gastronomical feasts, these 7 trains offer almost luxury you can imagine. Take a look at some of these luxury trains -

The Deccan Odyssey:

The Deccan Odyssey is an Indian Railways initiative that brings royalty to life with 6 newly expertly-crafted itineraries. With this great train, you can now travel in luxury across quite a few famous destinations in the state of Maharashtra.
  • Destinations: The route depends on the package you choose.
    1. Maharashtra Splendor
    2. Susegado Goa
    3. Indian Odyssey
    4. Jewels of the Deccan
    5. Maharashtra Wild Trail
    6. Hidden Treasures of Gujarat
    7. Indian Sojourn
  • Fares: For international travellers: US$5,810 + 4.5% Service tax
    For Indian travellers: INR 3,71,900 + 4.5% Service tax
  • Duration: 7 Nights/8 Days

Maharajas Express:

The most luxurious venture by IRCTC, Maharajas’ Express is India’s most expensive luxury train. It covers several important tourist destinations in India. It offers a choice of 5 different packages.
  • Destinations: The route depends upon the package you choose. The packages are:
    • Heritage of India
    • Treasures of India
    • Gems of India
    • Indian Panorama
    • Indian Splendor

    You will have to log in to Maharajas' Express for detailed package information.
  • Fares: The fare varies from package to package
  • Duration: The duration also varies from package to package

Palace on Wheels:

One of the most luxurious trains by railways, Palace on Wheels will let you explore the royal and majestic land of Rajasthan while getting an awesome ‘Maharaja’ service.
  • Destinations: Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra.
  • Fares: For international travellers: US$3500 + 4.5% Service tax
    For Indian travellers: Rs. 2,10,000 + 4.5% Service tax
  • Duration: 7 Nights/8 Days

Royal Rajasthan On Wheels:

‘Royal Rajasthan On Wheels’ takes passengers through the gorgeous tourist attractions of Rajasthan.
  • Destinations: Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Agra
  • Fares: For international travellers: US$9,450 + 4.5% Service tax
    For Indian travellers: Rs. 5,67,000 + 4.5% Service tax
  • Duration: 7 Nights/8 Days
IRCTC stands for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
Tickets Booked in a Day Approx. 15 to 16 lakh
Train Ticket Booking Timings All Days Except 1 Hr in a day (11:30 pm to 12:20 am) for maintenance
IRCTC website shut down timings for maintenance 11:30 pm to 12:30 am
How Many passengers per Indian Railways PNR can be booked on IRCTC Tatkal e-tickets? Maximum of 4 Passengers
Tatkal Booking Timings For AC berth 10 AM to 11 AM (one day in advance of the actual date of journey)
Tatkal Booking Timings For Non AC berth 11 AM to 12 PM (one day in advance of the actual date of journey)
Cancellation charges for a confirmed ticket, cancelled more than 48 hrs before scheduled departure time Cancellation charges shall be deducted

Rs.240/- for AC First Class/Executive Class

Rs.200/- for AC 2 Tier/First Class

Rs. 180 for AC 3 Tier/AC Chair car/ AC 3 Economy

Rs.120/- for Sleeper Class

Rs.60/- for Second Class
IRCTC Next Generation An upgraded version of IRCTC website with added/extra functionality.
Retiring Rooms Various rooms provided across different railway stations which can be booked in case there is a long wait time between trains.

IRCTC FAQ

Q. How can I create an IRCTC Login ID?

A: To create an IRCTC new login ID, visit the official home page of IRCTC. Right below the login box, there is an option for IRCTC sign up. When you click on it, a registration box will open. Now enter your user ID, password, security question, preferred language, followed by personal questions like name, gender, Aadhar card number, PAN card number and your residential address. After you enter all the information, click on submit. For the verification of your IRCTC Login account, a link will be sent to your registered email ID. Now the registration process is complete and you are ready to use your IRCTC account.

Q. How can I verify my IRCTC account?

A: To verify your IRCTC account, simply click on the activation link sent to you on your registered mail ID or you can also enter the mobile verification code received through SMS. Now click on submit button to activate your account.

Q. Can I change IRCTC Login ID?

A: IRCTC Login ID is a one-time registration process. Once you are registered with IRCTC, you cannot change your username or the login details for a given email ID.

Q. How can I log in my IRCTC account?

A: For IRCTC Login, open ixigo app and just login using your registered username. Now select the departure and arrival destination, date of travel, the class you want to travel in with your traveller details. Now click on ‘Pay now’ and make the payment. After the payment is successfully done, it will ask you to enter your IRCTC password. Enter the password and make your booking.

Q. How to recover IRCTC password?

A: Head to the IRCTC website and select Login from the menu placed on the top right-hand corner. Now it will ask you to enter your username and the captcha code. Click 'next'. You will now receive an OTP on your registered mobile number as well as your registered email ID. Now, you have to sign in again. Enter your IRCTC username followed by the OTP and the new password. Now continue by confirming the password, and entering the new Captcha code. In the final stage, log in with your new password.

Q. How can I check my train status?

A: To know about your train status, simply enter the IRCTC PNR number (a 10-digit number provided by IRCTC when you book train tickets, both online and offline). When you enter the PNR number, the website will provide you with all the details regarding your IRCTC booking.

Q. What is the current reservation feature of IRCTC?

A: Current reservation is a type of tatkal service provided by IRCTC. Tickets under this quota can only be booked once the chart has been prepared and seats are still available for booking, in the last 4 hours.

Q. How can I print my train ticket without login?

A: To get a print out of your train ticket, you are required to login to your IRCTC account using your username and password.