How to Book Railway Tickets in India: All You Wanted to Know About IRCTC
IRCTC is a Subsidiary of Indian Railways
The full form of IRCTC is Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. It is the subsidiary of the Indian Railways. Founded on September 27, 1999, it handles catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the organization.
How do you book railway tickets?
IRCTC is an Indian Government Enterprise
IRCTC is a Government of India enterprise. Through its website, you can make reservation enquiries, PNR enquiry and train enquiry. You have all the information about various trains in India. You just need to sign up to start using the website.
You can view fairs of various trains; and berths and availability. To do so, you just need to enter first few letters of the source station name, destination station name; then choose the class and the journey date. You will get the information. The IRCTC website is simple and easy to use.
IRCTC Has Information on Tour Packages
You can get information about Rail Tourism India dot com’s tour packages on the IRCTC website. Maharaja’s Express, Mahaparinirvan Express Odisha Special, Steam Express and Shirdi with 03 Jyotirlinga are some tourist trains that are popular.
Swamy Sharanam Tour, Chennai-Shirdi flight package, Munnar Eco Tourism Package and Ramoji Film City Tour are some tour packages that are attracting tourists from all over the world. Information about flights, both domestic and international, are available.
IRCTC Helps You Find Good Hotels
IRCTC website helps you to find top hotels by city name. You can read reviews, see photos and compare prices before deciding. IRCTC Ginger Rail Yatri Niwas, Infopark Inn IRCTC Business Hotel and IRCTC Guest House offer top class service.
The website offers latest information related to Indian Railways under “Alerts and Updates”. You can also book tickets through Windows App. You can dial 139 for 24 x 7 service or send SMS to 139. Indian Railways provides concessions to students. However student concession tickets are allowed only in sleeper class and second sitting tickets.
Indian Railway Network
IRCTC Website Recognizes Different Classes of Travel
The system on the IRCTC website recognizes different classes of travel and their codes. These are: first class air conditioned (1A), AC 2-tier sleeper (2A), first class (FC), AC 3-tier (3A), AC chair car (CC), sleeper class (SL) and second sitting (2S).
Various quotas are available for booking through the IRCTC website. Booking is allowed against General (GN), Tatkal, Senior citizen and Ladies (LD) quotas. You can find station codes by using the Station Code Finders available on ‘Plan My Travel’, ‘Fare Enquiry’, ‘Trains From/To and ‘Get Availability’ pages. You can get station codes by just entering the first three letters of the city.
Registering to IRCTC is very easy. Registration form is available on the website. Provide your personal details. You get step by step guidance while registering. Various payment options are available, like credit cards, debit cards, net banking, eWallet and cash cards. Transaction charge varies with the mode of payment.
IRCTC eWallet service makes hassle free transactions possible. You can manage your account and recharge online. The service is known for quick response and fast refunds. It is gaining in popularity.
Under eWallet scheme, you can deposit money in advance with IRCTC. Your balance in your eWallet can be used as a payment option along with other payment options allowed by IRCTC for booking tickets. It is important to note that eWallet registration and booking through eWallet is not available from 8 am to 12 pm.
EWallet Registration Procedure
EWallet registration procedure is simple. You need to login by entering your user name and password. You will view “Plan my Travel” page. You will see a link for eWallet registration.
Click on “Click to register now” link. You will be redirected to verify your PAN card no. Enter your PAN card number and your name as it appears on the PAN card. After verifying your PAN card number, you will be redirected to the payment page. This is to pay your registration fee. Create a transaction password and reconfirm. This is required at the time of booking. You need to select payment option to pay the registration fee. After payment, you will be logged out. You will see a message congratulating you for registering successfully. Registration fee is non refundable.
To deposit funds to your eWallet, you need to login. Select the option and enter the amount to be deposited. Deposit history page enables you to view the status of all deposits. All eWallet transactions can be accessed any time.
IRCTC EWallet is a Convenience
While booking your ticket, once you plan the travel and reach the payment gateway page, you will see eWallet as a payment option among other payment options. You can use the same to book the ticket. In cases of refund, cancellation amount will be credited to your eWallet account.
You can use your mobile device to use IRCTC services. To use your mobile for ticket booking, you need to be an IRCTC user; have a Java enabled mobile phone; have GPRS service activated on your device; and have a credit card or cash card.
Get IRCTC App on Your Mobile Device
In order to activate the IRCTC you need to download the app. The app can be downloaded on your Apple device, Android device or Windows device. You just need to visit appropriate site and follow instructions step by step. It is very easy. After downloading successfully, you will see an icon on your device. Select the same. Set a pin, which you will be using for future logins. You can change your pin any time.
You can navigate through IRCTC mobile easily. Currently there are four icons in the main screen: Shubh Yatra, Tourism, Offers and Booking. The main screen has “Options” menu. This menu consists of Sync, Change PIN, Move Icon, Upgrade, About and Exit.
As of now you can use only your credit card (Visa or Master) or ITZ cash cards. You cannot use your debit card or direct bank debit. All transactions are secure. You can add any number of passengers to the passenger list. However it depends on your device.
Booking Tickets is a Cakewalk with IRCTC
In order to book your ticket through IRCTC mobile, you need to login and select ‘Booking’. Enter first three characters of city in ‘From’ and ‘To’ fields. You can also use city codes.
Select the ‘Class’. Select the ‘Date of Journey’. The app displays the trains available. Select the train of your choice. You will get details. Select ‘Book’. Select ‘Passenger List’ to add passengers. Select passenger names and select ‘Add to Ticket’. Enter the mailing address where tickets have to be delivered. Enter credit card details or cash card number. Enter CVV or cash card pin and select ‘Book Now’.
Using IRCTC mobile, you can book a train up to 90 days in advance. You cannot book on the date of journey. You can book using this app for anyone for any destination. You can book a maximum 6 seats at a time. If you do not receive ticket within 2 to 3 days of booking, you need to contact the call center. You can also mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRCTC website helps travelers immensely. If you are traveling in India, it is definitely advisable to use this website.
In my view, Indian Railways has immense untapped potential.— Lalu Prasad Yadav