IRCTC is an initiative by the Indian Railways that caters to a huge mass of train travellers across the nation. It takes care of all your train related queries and concerns. You can now book your train tickets on Paytm using your IRCTC login credentials, making the transactions quicker and easier.
Now book your train tickets on Paytm using your IRCTC account login details. Here’s how the train ticket booking can be done on the website:
Step 1: Login using Paytm account.
Step 2: Select the departure destination, arrival destinations, preferred date of travelling and the preferred berths and search for the seat availability.
Step 3: The list of available trains for the respective dates would be displayed. From this page, you can check the availability of tickets and book accordingly.
Step 4: Once you select the preferred train and class based on availability, you can now proceed giving your IRCTC login ID.
Step 5: Fill the passenger details and proceed to checkout.
IRCTC Account Login
Follow these simple steps to create a new IRCTC account, in case you don’t have one. Once you’re directed to the login page of IRCTC, follow the following steps.
Step 1: Enter a username that is between 4 and 10 characters in length.
Step 2: You can now choose the security question and enter the answer to it.
Step 3: Enter your First name, Last name, Gender, Marital status, Occupation and Date of birth.
Step 4: Fill other details that include the email ID, your mobile number, address and pincode.
Step 5: After entering the text from the displayed image, click on the ‘Submit’ button.
Step 6: Get your account verified after entering the code sent to your email ID.
i-Tickets & e-Tickets on IRCTC
There are two types of tickets issued by IRCTC - i-tickets and e-tickets.
i-Tickets: i-tickets are the hard copies of the booked tickets. These tickets can be booked online using the IRCTC website. Anyone can visit the website, login to their respective accounts, and check the availability of the tickets.
An i-ticket has to be booked at least 3-4 days prior to the journey, as it may take that time for the tickets to be couriered/mailed to the given address. However, this facility is available only in select Indian cities. A minimal amount is charged for these tickets as service charge, and the cancellation of i-tickets cannot be done online. For cancellation, you need to visit the respective reservation counter and cancel the tickets.
e-Tickets: Around 98% of the rail reservations are e-tickets. One of the reasons that makes e-tickets popular is that it is user-friendly compared to i-tickets. These tickets can be booked online from anywhere, which also means that you can book your e-tickets even while travelling!
The e-tickets are sent to you by email and SMS. You can get the tickets printed from the email. However, at the time of journey, you can show the printed copy of the ticket or the SMS along with the passenger’s ID card such as the passport, voter’s ID card or ration card.
e-Tickets can be booked any time before the departure chart of the train is prepared. No extra amount is charged for booking e-tickets. If you wish to cancel your booked tickets, the same can be done prior to the departure chart preparation.
Categorisation of Quotas in IRCTC
There are several types of reservation quotas offered by the Indian Railways, which are allotted to the eligible passengers respectively. These quotas are as follows:
General Quota (GN)
This is the most common type of quota offered by the Indian Railways, and this is also the quota which has the most number of seats allocated. The tickets in this quota can be booked 120 days prior to the departure of the train, i.e., the ARP (Advance Reservation Period) of General Quota is 120 days.
If a passenger is waitlisted on General Quota reservation, there are higher chances of the tickets getting confirmed. After the issue of the available tickets in this quota, the RAC tickets are issued, where one berth is shared by two passengers. The waitlisted tickets come only after this. Waitlisted tickets can fall under the categories GNWL, RLWL, RSWL, etc. depending on the destination stations and the passenger origin.
Tatkal Quota (TQ)
The demand for tatkal tickets is high as it allows the passengers to book tickets in emergencies or on short notice. The tatkal ticket counters open at 10AM and 11AM on the previous day of the journey for AC classes and non-AC classes respectively. Once all the available tickets are issues in this quota, the waitlisted tatkal tickets (TQWL) are issued.
Premium Tatkal Quota (PT)
This quota is introduced by the Indian Railways with dynamic fare pricing. The price of Premium Tatkal tickets increase as per the demand of the tickets and the seat availability. The prices may go high during seasons where the demand for the tickets is high. Premium Tatkal quota is not allotted to the agents, and if one books the tickets for children under this quota, the amount of a full ticket would be charged. The pricing of these tickets keep varying based on the demand of the tickets. The reservation period of the tickets is the same as that of Tatkal tickets. The PT tickets cannot be cancelled for refund, once booked.
Ladies Quota (LD)
This quota is allotted to ladies who travel alone or with children less than 12 years of age. Six berths are allotted for ladies quota in Sleeper Class (SL) and Second Seating Class (2S) respectively, and there is no extra charges for booking train tickets under this quota. However, it is not easy to book these tickets, as the Ladies Quota tickets get booked well in advance.
Physically Handicapped Quota (HP)
The Physically Handicapped Quota (HP), also known as Divyangjan Quota, is a quota allotted by the Indian Railways for the passengers who are physically challenged. 4 berths in the sleeper class and 2 berths in 3 AC are allotted under this quota; the lower berths for the physically challenged passengers and the middle berths for their escort passengers. The handicapped passengers are to carry the ID proof issued by the Indian Railways, and submitted during the journey. The escort passengers also have to carry their ID cards with them.
Lower Berth Quota (SS)
Lower Berth quota is allotted to the male passengers who are of 60 years and above, and female passengers who are 45 years and above. However, not more than two tickets can be booked during a single booking, even if there are more than two passengers who are eligible for the quota. Pregnant women are also allowed to avail this quota, and they’re to submit a certificate by a registered medical practitioner at the time of booking. The SS quota for pregnant women can only be booked at designated PRS counters.
HO Quota (HO)
The High Official (HO) quota, also known as the Emergency quota, refers to the quota of tickets allotted to high officials that include high officials of the Indian Railways, MPs, MLAs, other dignitaries, and those who are travelling on emergencies. A strict protocol is followed under this quota which starts from the President of India to the lowest grade government officials and the common man. The berths are allotted first-come-first-serve basis and the ranking of the official.
Parliament House Quota (PH)
This quota is similar to the HO quota, and is allotted to MPs, their relatives and close ones approved by them.
Defence Quota (DF)
The Defence quota is allotted to the officials of the Indian Armed Forces (Indian Navy, Indian Army & Indian Air Force). This quota is a result of the initiative by the Indian Railways to support the defence personnel who safeguard our nation. Two berths are allotted for defence officials in almost all the trains across the country. These tickets can be booked for official purposes of the officials like relocation or shifting of the forces to a different place. Individual officials who are travelling back home or leaving home to join the services can also avail this privilege.
Foreign Tourist Quota (FT)
This quota is earmarked by the Indian Railways for foreign tourists and NRIs. Unlike the General Quota where the ticket bookings are open only 120 days prior to the journey, tickets under FT can be booked up to 365 days prior to the journey. However, if the tickets are booked before the Advance Reservation Period (ARP) which is 120 days, the berths are allocated only when the ARP opens, which is 120 days before the travel date.
Duty Pass Quota (DP)
This quota is allotted by the Indian Railways for the benefit of the railway staff who are on duty. A certain number of seats are earmarked under this quota in all classes of Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains, and the AC class of Jan Shatabdi Express trains. Both serving and retired employees are allowed to book seats under this quota and avail Duty/Privilege/Post Retirement complimentary passes. All these booked seats are considered as tickets under Duty Pass quota. However, this restriction is not applied on other Mail and Express trains.
This quota has a separate waiting list DPWL. The passes under this quota are Gold Pass, Silver Pass, Bronze Pass, Card Pass and Cheque Pass, based on the position of the officer. The number of seats that one is allowed to book under each pass are as follows.
2 berths in 1AC
4 berths in AC Sleeper
1 berth in 1AC
4 berths in 2AC & 3AC
4 berths in 2AC & 3AC
When the tickets the booked under this quota, only waitlisted tickets are issued, which get confirmed only when the tickets under Emergency Quota are released. The confirmation of the tickets would depend on several factors that include the urgency of the travel and the priority of the officers. If these tickets remain vacant during the time of chart preparation, these tickets are issued to the RAC/waitlisted passengers.
Concession for Senior Citizens
Senior citizens are offered other concessions while booking train tickets, apart from the lower berth quota reserved for them. A concession of 40% and 50% are granted for men of minimum 60 years and women of minimum 58 years respectively for all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi and Duronto trains. While booking the tickets online, the checkbox button for senior citizens can be clicked, which would automatically allot the passengers lower berths if available. If lower berths are not available, the tickets would be issued under the general quota along with the concession.
Yuva Quota (YU)
Tickets under this quota are issued to the unemployed youth (18-45 years) of India. However, only 10% of the tickets are allotted under this quota, and are available only for Yuva trains of the Indian Railways, namely Howrah-Delhi Yuva Express and Bandra Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin Yuva Express.
While booking the tickets, copies of the following documents are to be submitted both at the time of booking, and while travelling.
The above mentioned are the major quotas allotted by the Indian Railways. It is due to these divisions that the passengers are not allowed to choose their preferred seats liberally.