How to book a train ticket in India as a tourist 1
- Trains are the most convenient and easiest way to travel across the country. As a tourist, it can be quite stressful to get your hands upon a train ticket seeing how complicated the process gets. Here is a simple guide that will give you an idea of how to book train tickets as a foreigner.
1. Register on the IRTC website - The official Indian Railways website
- Just like other e-portals of governance in India, this site might lag at times but it is the right way to book tickets quickly. All you have to do is pay attention and be patient throughout the process. In order to book a train ticket on the IRTC site, you have to register an account on it. Follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Click ‘Register’ on the site and move forward
2. Select and fill details
3. Enter your international or local mobile number to receive the OTP
4. After completing the Captcha and receive the OTP
5. Make payment using the ‘Multiple payment service and International cards’
6. After verifying your mobile and email OTP, your account will be created
7. Proceed to book tickets
2. Book tickets on the IRTC Website
Following is a step-by-step guide on booking tickets on the site:
1. After logging into your account, choose your ‘From’ and ‘To’ destinations
2. Make sure you know the local variations in the name of the places you are visiting.
3. Select ‘Classes’ and click on ‘Find Trains’.
4. Check Fares, availability and seating options.
5. Click the ‘Book Now’ icon when it is green which shows availability.
6. If it’s yellow or orange, it means you will be on the waiting list.
7. Fill the passenger details and proceed to the payment page.
8. Again use the ‘Multiple payment service and International cards’ option.
9. Get the email confirmation.
If there's no availability for your preferred train, it will show as Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC). If the status is RAC, you can still book a ticket and you’ll be given a seat on the train, but not necessarily a bed unless there are enough cancellations. If you book a Waitlist ticket, you won’t be allowed to board the train unless there are enough cancellations for a seat or bed to become available.
You don’t need to take a print of your booking as it gets saved on the site. Just show your passport to Ticket Collector when he checks your name during the journey. Keep checking the status of your train on the site time after time. You may also use the Foreign Tourist Quota option on the site to avail of better booking options. Users can book tickets under Foreign Tourist Quota up to 365 days in advance.
3. Get Reservation of seats ‘Over the counter’
Getting a reservation for seats manually through the ticket counters is a long process. You can opt for it if you are already in India and have a lot of time. You would be lucky if you get a reservation after waiting for hours among the other local passengers. Here are a few steps about how to get a reservation offline:
1. All tickets booked online and offline have a 10-digit PNR number
2. Check this number while checking the RAC and WL schedules
3. To get a reservation, get a form to fill your details and check a list to find your name and number of the seat or the PNR number.
4. Cancellations happen a lot of times, especially in the 24 hours up to departure. If you’re waitlisted, you’ll have the best chance of getting a bed in sleeper class as the majority of beds are in this class.
5. You may also get the chance to book for ‘Tatkal’ which is a last-minute option for some special trains.
6. Make sure to book your tickets a few months prior to your journey. This will devoid you of any fuss related to reserving seats and everything.
*So there you have it! A simple guide to give you enough knowledge to book tickets and reserve seats for your train journey in India.
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