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IRCTC Reservation Rules

Indian Railway Network is one of the biggest railway system in the world. Billions of people buy train tickets to travel from one place to another. They need to follow certain steps, if they are reserving the tickets or Booking Tatkal Ticket Online. In order to make a ticket reservation, the passengers need to keep reservation rules in mind. These rules cover situations of ticket cancellations, concessions and many other aspects.

Reservation Rules


From 1st Sept. 2001 till present, fare concessions to senior citizens through Passenger Reservation System or PRS will be offered only on demand but not as standard. In case of reserved tickets Demand for fare concessions will be made on a form - Reservation Requisition. In a situation where ticket is issued to a senior citizen on who is availing a travel concession, during the journey, concerned train traveller is required to carry a certain document which clearly states his/her age or date of birth (DOB). The concerned document must be issued by a Govt Institute or recognized agency or any approved local body. The proof could be anything including Aadhaar card, Voter ID, Passport, Driving License, Pan Card, Secondary or Senior Secondary Certificate from any recognised educational institute of any state or union territory in India. Railway staff or TTE may or may not demand the required age proof from the passenger during the journey.

The min. age for obtaining travel concession is 58 years for WOMEN SENIOR CITIZENS and 60 years for MEN SENIOR CITIZENS. Travel concession offered to senior citizens is only 50% of Basic Fare.

There shall be no alterations or modifications in other t&cs in both the situations (Railway Board No TCII/2161/2011/SRC/Policy dated 13th May 2011)


The Railway Staff reserves berths, seats and compartments etc. according to the already stated rules and regulations published in the Coaching Tariff. A train traveller seeking reservation of seat or berth or compartment must buy train tickets from the Railway Reservation Offices or only through the Authorised Travel Agency.

Advance reservations of berths or seats are made usually up to 120 days in advance considering for all classes and trains. The Advance Reservation Period (ARP) excludes the actual day of departure of the train.

A railway passenger can purchase not more than six tickets on 1 requisition form, provided all the train travellers must be travelling for the identical destination and in the same train.

From 1st December 2012 onwards, any passenger booked on a Passenger Name Record (PNR) for undertaking a train journey in any class shall have to provide any one of the 10 original identity proofs prescribed by the administration during the travel. Failing which all the train travellers booked on that particular ticket shall be considered as traveling without a legal ticket and will be charged accordingly.

  1. Aadhaar Card.
  2. Voter ID
  3. Passport
  4. Driving License
  5. PAN Card
  6. Photo ID Card containing a serial number issued by State or Central Govt
  7. Student ID Card from any recognised educational institute
  8. Passbook with photograph from any nationalised bank
  9. Credit Cards with photograph
  10. Identity Cards with a photograph containing a serial number issued by Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of Central or State Govt., District Administration and other recognized legal bodies.

As per Indian railway board letter (2011/tg-i/20/p/id) dated 10th January 2013, nationalized bank passbook with photographs and attested photocopy of ration card will also be approved as a authentic proof of identity. This is only in the situation of reserved train tickets purchased through Passenger Reservation System or PRS counters, for undertaking a train journey in sleeper (SL) class and second reserved sitting (2S) class. The photocopy of passenger’s ration card & passbook of any nationalized bank with photograph should be duly attested by a gazetted officer (govt officer) or station master or the chief reservation supervisor.

The above-mentioned provision has limited applicability, hence, not applicable for all travel classes of e-tickets & tatkal tickets and i-tickets issued for travelling in ac classes and first class of any train. Undertaking a train journey under these categories of train tickets will continue to be regulated by extant instructions and rules.

At a time only 1 requisition form is accepted from a passenger. However, if it is a case of onward or return train journey, more than 1 requisition forms can be accepted from the same train traveller.

Seat or berth reservation shall not be confirmed without purchase of required train ticket. No berth and seat reservation shall be made on provisional basis.

When seat or berths are confirmed for passengers, the key intention is to offer a sleeping accommodation between 9pm to 6am. During 6am to 9 pm, the train traveller, if want or necessary, can make room for other fellow passengers in the same compartment up to its seating capacity.

Train travellers are required to quote PNR number which he or she may find printed on the on the top left hand side of the train ticket for any travel enquiry or registering complaint related to seat reservations.

Reservation train tickets issued by the computer against pre-bought train ticket should be accompanied by the train tickets during the journey. Similarly, journey cum reservation train ticket bearing 0 amount isn’t valid for train journey unless accompanied by a valid ticket to travel authorising the issuance of such train tickets.

Allotment of seat or berth or compartment is confirmed by a computer. Several efforts are made to offer accommodation in train to the travellers booked under the same PNR number on first come first serve basis.

Railway Administration shall attempt to offer reserved seat or berth but doesn’t offer 100% guarantee and passengers shall admit that no claim for inconvenience, loss or extra outlay due to such accommodation, not being offered in a particular train. Indian Railway does not guarantee the supply of any specific carriage or the provision of accommodation.

The departure time printed on the train ticket is only mentioned for indication purpose to guide the passenger. A train traveller must reckon correct and updated timings of the departure of the train from the Railway station on the actual day of journey. Any modifications or alterations in the train timing after the ticket has been issued can’t be advised.

While every attempt is made to advise the updates in Train Schedule, Indian Railway Adm will not be liable for any claim of a compensation if a train traveller misses his/her train on this account.


Under Section 142 of the Railways ACT, journey tickets including any half of a return ticket and season ticket are not transferable.

If any passenger not being a Railway Staff or an authorised agent in this behalf:

(a) Sells or transfer any train ticket

(b) Attempts to part with the possession of a train ticket against which seat or berth reservation has been made.

He or she will be punished under the rules governed by Railways Act.

In addition, if the train ticket buyer or holder of transferred ticket undertakes a journey or attempts to undertake a journey, he or she will forfeit the train ticket which he or she bought or availed and will be considered to be traveling without a legal train ticket.


Payment for the issue of reserved train tickets through credit cards is allowed at authorized PRS counters of locations of Northern Railway at IRCA Building, Allahabad and Lucknow only.

Passengers can use any of their bank card as all Visa Cards and Master Cards are accepted.


The supplementary charges & reservation fee on superfast (sf) trains are as follows:

Class of Train Reservation Fee (In Rs) Supplementary Charges For Superfast Trains (Rs)
AC Tier 1 60 75
AC Tier 2 50 45
AC - 3 Tier 40 45
AC Chair Car 40 45
AC - 3 Tier Rs. 40 Rs. 45
AC Chair Car Rs. 40 Rs. 45
Ist (Mail/Express) 50 45
Ist (Ordinary) 50 -
Sleeper (Mail/Express) 20 30
Sleeper (Ordinary) 20 -
Second Sitting (Mail/Express) 15 15
Second Sitting (Ordinary) 15 -

Military officers or staff undertaking the journey on free warrants, Railway officers & staff, P&T dept. undertaking the train journey on Railway passes and MPs of political parties traveling on their party ID cards are not obliged to pay the reservation fee for superfast trains. The supplementary charges does not apply on MPs of political parties traveling on their party ID cards, foreign tourists boasting Indrail passes, Railway officers & staff undertaking the journey on duty passes, privilege passes and PTOs.

A train traveller found in a Super Fast Train without paying reservation fees or supplementary charges has to submit a fine of Rs. 50 plus the levied supplementary charges and fees. However, if a train traveller carrying a train ticket satisfying completely the distance restriction & as per the ticket, boarding the superfast train at an intermediate railway station, the passenger is obliged to pay the supplementary charge only.


Train Travellers holding tickets with confirmed (CNF) reservation shall be allotted with seat or berth at the time of ticket booking. The berth number and coach number are printed on the train ticket itself, except in situation of 1st class ACC and coaches. The compartment or cabin or coupe numbers for first ACC and coaches are provided at the time of reservation chart preparation.


The train travellers whose names come under RAC are allocated with reserved seating accommodation in the beginning and are likely to get accommodation due to the seats or berths becoming vacant due to last moment cancellations of reserved passengers or train travellers not turning up to the train at the time of the departure of the train.


The reservation requests at the authorised reservation counters are allowed up to Four hours prior the scheduled departure time of the train. After that, passengers can make reservation request at the current counters at railway stations up to 1 hour prior the scheduled departure time of the train. After that reservation can be done only by the Ticket Collector on the railway platform, in case of vacant seats or berths are available.


Reservation requests of seats or berths in all travel classes from intermediate stations which do not have computerised reservation service are entertained only at the time of purchase of train tickets. Such requests must be provided to the Station Master of the concerned Intermediate station 3 days prior the scheduled departure time of the train. The application of such requisition will be delivered to the nearest computerised reservation facility of that intermediate station at the earliest.


If a train traveller, for whom the reservation of seat or berth has been done, doesn’t turn up to the train up to 10 mins prior the scheduled departure time of the train, the Railway Staff at that time might cancel the reservation of the passenger and allot it to the train traveller on the RAC or Waiting list in accordance of their priority.


If a train traveller wants to occupy reserved seat or berth from any station enroute, he or she would be allowed to entrain at any intermediate railway station he or she may choose irrespective of the distance from the source station subject to the below-mentioned conditions :

1. A special written request should be made at any authorised reservation counter (computerized) and reservation must be made at least 1 day before the scheduled departure time of the train from the source station.

2. The Railway Staff reserves the right to use such reserved accommodation from the source station up to the railway station at which the train traveller is due to board the train.

3. No fare refund shall be admissible for the section of train journey not undertaken by the train traveller.

For all the latest information regarding the Indian Railways Reservation Rules, click here.

For the table of new and revised rules of IRCTC, kindly check here.