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Common Man given priority to Make ‘Tatkal’ Reservations on IRCTC

Have you ever tried to book a ‘Tatkal’ ticket online on IRCTC as soon as the online counter opens at around 8 AM? If you have, there are chances that the IRCTC site does not let you do pretty much anything except from showing you a Busy Server right from 8 AM to 9 AM. The 1 hour window might not sound significant but given the limited availability of Tatkal tickets and invariably high demand, the tickets get over real fast.

image25 | Common Man given priority to Make ‘Tatkal’ Reservations on IRCTC

Worry no more as Indian Railways has in a much appreciated gesture made ‘Tatkal’ reservations much more accessible for the common man. Indian Railways has taken measures pertaining to the access rights for web-based travel agents,

    • Travel agents / web-services agents / web agents of IRCTC will not be given access to Tatkal booking, through e-ticketing on all days between 8 A.M. to 9 A.M.
    • Travel agents / web-services agents / web agents of IRCTC will not be given access, through e-ticketing, to trains defined in the system on their respective opening day of Advance Reservation Period (ARP), between 8 A.M. to 9 A.M.

What this effectively means is that the first hour of the booking on the opening day will be available exclusively for users like you and me. The ban on travel agents will not only help reduce the traffic on the site during peak hours but also lead to more chances to a common man of availing a Tatkal ticket.

Travel agent accounts have the rights to book bulk tickets and as such they can corner most of the Tatkal ticket in the very first hour itself leaving others high and dry. What’s more, there are chances that some web-based travel agents might even be running automated scripts to book Tatkal tickets as soon as they are available. No wonder then that Travel agents come forth as life savior whenever one needs a ticket urgently.

The move should indeed help passengers book Tatkal tickets on IRCTC though as I mentioned in an earlier post on IRCTC being the largest e-commerce portal in India, the infrastructure on IRCTC leaves a lot for the asking.Why shouldn’t the authorities take enough measures to upgrade the infrastructure for the website to handle the increased traffic levels. Having said that, the ban of travel agents during 8-9 in the morning should definitely go a long way in making Tatkal reservations more accessible for passengers.

On the other side, this move is expected to have serious implications for travel agents. With the widespread adoption of IRCTC, travel agents would be already witnessing a lack in demand for their services. Emergency tickets in the form of Tatkal tickets is one big opportunity for agents to cash on and now that has been taken away from them.Wonder what will the reaction of travel agents to this ruling from Indian Railways.

The move is commendable since it addresses a huge pain point and signifies that Indian Railways is doing its bit to address issues slowly but surely. What are your thoughts on this announcement?

Do share your experiences if you witness any notable changes in accessibility and speed while booking Tatkal tickets online.

Advance Reservation Period e-ticketing Indian railways irctc last minute IRCTC booking online train booking Tatkal reservations tatkal ticket The Dates given were outside ARP the dates given were outside arp meaning train reservations train travel
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About Ankit Agarwal

Ankit Agarwal is an IT Research and Strategy Executive by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion. You can follow him on twitter @ankit_a


  1. the software must be programed in such a way that one machine can book only one ticket at a time and no machine(IP address) must be allowed to book ticket from the same computer for 3 day this is the only way to STOP Dalal

  2. To railway minister : Madum u banned rail agents to book ticket in morning hourrs nd gave fullscale corruption to do in railway counter employees who were paid highly by govt. Agents are much better they ask minimum comiission accordimg to local status of passenger .ur what u feel uremployees other than voters are govt are more sacred can u please try any ticket from howrah to delhi through a common man a proxy tatkal ticket at sharp 8am how much ur employees will demand u will come to know . a bissiness class agent for his roti he will come down by his commission prices but ur employees fat salaried peoples wont comedown in commission prices because they were not depend on commision only they will get sallary. we can not bargain on railway tatkal commision what ever they say we have to pay that comission other wise we will miss our journey for months thats why dont distinguish railway agent and rail ticket booking counter both are same. previously lalu prasad yadav time five day tatkal time for all is more convinent to all to gent custumer , employee.

  3. Hi All, I have been trying to book the Tatkal tickets but never able to do so because it never opens between 8 to 9. I really do not think that IRCTC has stopped the agents for 8-9 time. I am not sure how I should book the tickets with out going to agent. Even worse is that when i book the ticket in general category in waiting list when I board the train most of the time 10 to 20% seats are free. There should be some method so that superficial shortage of seats should be avoided. Hope that in future some one will take care of common man.

  4. if u want book tatkal ticket 97% sucsee then contact here osskurla@yahoo.com

  5. i have read many comment, but due to heavy demand of tatkal tkt and less avaiblty this problem will never be solved. banning irctc agents to book between 8-9am has increased touts or dalal income, for UP ticket they even take 1000 rs extra per person and give 100% confirm tkt BEST SOLUTION TO SOLVE THIS : 1) 90 DAYS (3 MONTH) BEFORE TICKET BOOKING SHOULD BE STOPPED 2) ONLY 5 OR 7 DAYS BEFORE JOURNEY OF PRATICULAR TRAIN, THE BOOKING OF THAT TRAIN SHOULD START, ( IN OTHER WORDS TATKAL TICKET QUOTA WILL INCREASE BECAUSE NO TKT IS ALLOWED TO BE BOOKED 90 DAYS BEFORE THIS WILL GIVE EQUAL APPORTUNITY TO COMMEN PEOPLE AND IRCTC AGENTS

  6. Well, Today the website IRCTC was not working at 8 AM.

  7. sir 2003 to till irctc is boking ticket irctc is private come govt 49 stake to private and remaing stake govt now the time change all are aware how the agents earning a lot of money in using computer and put ticket now govt in new portal of ticket booking thier tracking ip adress machine id no cash card for indiduval ac so no one cant put thakal in indiduval ac all agents go to their house and sleep and change bussiness well done mamtha ji very good only indiduval enjoy agent are bleeding in eyes ohh ohh ohh hahahaha 90% indiduval can use the new ticket portal and 10% only for agent in irctc 90% agent 10% indiduval using now the time change bye bye bye agents god open the eyes with the help of mamtha banejee jai hind to mamtha

  8. Even after the Ban the same story continues…From 8.00AM IRCTC site is not working and by the time it starts working there are no tickets left.

  9. “Touts have won the battle over agents – recognized by IRCTC”. Bibek Deboroy, a renowned economist analyzes the Indian Railyway System http://bit.ly/cEMtuu

  10. Manikantan T S

    Not sure whether it is implemented or not. But since two weeks, i have seen my friends succeeding booking tickets in the first attempt ! I am going to try two tickets next week. I’ll post the status of same here :)

  11. Hi! In addition to all the comments, suggestions and remarks made above, as an anguished yet occasional railway traveller; woould like to put some suggestions: 1. To mitigate the woes of regular travellers and busy corporate/ private regulars, around 10-20% can be left for the registered travel agents. This will ensure a modicum of business for the self employed. 2. vigilance in the railways should be stepped up to ensure that the nexus of touts and railway officials does not flourish. 3. Keeping on idea of online checking, why not keep a certain number of screens/ kiosks like ATM’s whereby the status of booking of the ticket can be checked by punching in the PNR numbers. Waiting in queues and coming upto the counter clerk to find that they are taking a tea break is really heart breaking specially when there is only 10 minutes left for the train to start and leave station. 4. The casual attitude and lack of service orientation in our indian railways amongst other services is legendary. As a student we have found it quite disparaging and distraught experience.

  12. Rajan i agree to you, i too feel agents are not that bad, and authorized agents are those who have been given certificate to work by IRCTC. so how can IRCTC take back these rights. this will leave agents unemployed as well as disturb the life of the common people. also this is giving rise to touts & dalals to do their malpractices.

  13. I have an IRCTC account which is locked second time. When i tried to reset the password through forget password link, it asks User id, question and Answer. I provided all the details and it throws an error “Answer is Incorrect”. This happend second time and both the times i tried to login through the actual password. I waited for a week and there was no response from IRCTC customer care. I called them up on 24 Hrs. Customer Support at 011-23340000 and it took about 12 calls to make them understand about the issue. When ever i called up the customer support the person attnding the call will redirect me to someone else after listening to my detail and again i need to explain whole story, inshort that was waste of time and money. I sent an email at care@irctc.co.in also submit at http://www.consumercourt.in/railways/14030-irctc-login.html and got an automated email as Ticket Confirmation for the request. IRCTC should hire service and satisfaction oriented support executives so that it a common man has no pain of wasting time and money.

  14. No Raiway take a wrong step and the technology steps going back. surely it’ll use some iird range local counter agents, profit. Before three days my friend booked through counter agent with extra payment 50% in ticket cost. Agents booking normal charges and they are also servicing for peoples and railway. Many peoples not possible to attend counters in early morning. It’ll loss their one day work. I still feel agents are Good. Many normal commen persons not possible to attend to counter from early morning…….

  15. I agree with you. That is why under the improvement areas, I have mentioned that “2. Reserve some % of tickets to common man”. First should be always common man….:) But, people like should also get some chance (I am also a common man…) Cheers! Anudeep

  16. For some of the comments above who have complaints that booking tickets through agents was easier and since they’ve to do frequent ups and downs, should not worry much as this step won’t bar agents from serving you. In facts, agents will still be at your service after 9 am. And, what if you fail to get a ticket from the agent after that window of 9 am? Possibly, that would mean that a millions of other general public could have benefited (both online + offline) in booking a tatkal ticket for themselves personally, on implementation of this rule. Its the broader general public which would benefit in absence of agent service during the opening hour.

  17. Good thoughts shared. However, being a techie, I do not have time to go to railway station, stand for 3-4hrs early morning and not sure whether u get the ticket or not. I prefer to book tickets using IRCTC, website which may not be available from 8 AM 8.20 AM. Hence, I take it from a travel agent who charges Rs. 50 per ticket. Today, he mentioned that this rule has already got implemented. He is not issuing any more tickets now. I have tried booking ticket using IRCTC today, but no change, same problem. Barring agents would not be a solution. Every country moving toward online system, but we Indians moving back to standing lines, begging railway staff…very sad….we should encourage online systems, which saves lot of time, money and it is an efficient way. Please guys, encourage online systems and help getting me the tatkal ticket. Think about the people who are very far from railway stations (example my village) who can not go to railway stations and get the ticket Think if we have computer and net, if there is not current, what to do… Think about the people who do not have online banking systems…. There are many people like me who are dependable on agents…agents should be given back the opportunity… Areas of improvement: 1. Increase the infrastructure of IRCTC 2. Reserve some % of tickets to common man 3. Allocate some % of tickets to agents 4. The big change should be, increase the number of train with respect to the increasing population… Jago India Jago… Regards Anudeep

  18. SIR,I This seems to be sweet for common people, but the reality is different. as a comman man this decison of yours is proved wrong for me ,i have to do weekly up down and i used to bk these tickets from irctc agents but now your these new provisions hv made a comman suffer in the rail-counters;now thoug the irctc agents have been restricted from booking tatkal ;those agents at the rail-station are blessed by you because a comman like me who is least intrested in waiting at the quese has to pay much much more….”so please sir under stant the root cause of the promblems these days…..” sir i suppose you might have never waited in those queses ……so hoping that you soon correct your mistake…”a kind request from a regular passenger of yours….”

  19. good evening sir i read your comments but this not good rly banned to irctc agents beuase in india maney villages or city raily couneter far away irctc agent take little money from ciner citizen or locaol pepole appor 50/ or 100 only but raly agent chareged 300 to 500 rs per person or in india app 300000000irctc agent this not solution because hole day they are empty irctc agent boked only one or two tickets in tatkal now days if rly baned in the month of 15april to june or 15 oct to 31decc this my suggsions because in this timee irctc agent not a single ticket booked pl see my suggiction my english is week so pl froget my mistek



  21. Why do we have shortage of tickets(Births) in first place?? If railways can handle that, all the problems will be solved. Is Mamta Di listning ?

    • Interesting point Shailesh and it is true that the number of trains should increase with the increasing population. However, baby steps like these if executed well go a long way in making things easier

  22. When will this be effective from??

    • Bhavesh, as far as i know this has been already implemented at multiple locations which suggests that the ban is already functional. However, i am not aware of the exact date for nation wide rollouts

  23. This seems to be sweetener for common people, but the reality is different. Agents have got under the table setup at counters directly, as soon as counter are open, those are people first to book Tatkal ticket. The commission rate for tatkal ticket is somewhere between 150 – 200 per seat. Good Money……..all corruption…..

  24. It’s of no use stopping the website or web agents from 8am to 9AM, reason being 1) from 8 till 8.30 IRCTC site hardly works. 2) All the tatkal reservations gets over by 8.15AM, and if you are late, lets say by 15 mins (8.30AM), the system will give you waiting list. 3) If you want to book a tatkal ticket you have to get up by 5AM, go to the station and stand in a queue. Not sure, who want to do that? If you are lucky and that their computer & printer works fine, you will get ticket. Otherwise come again tomm. I still feel agents are Good. Ofcourse you pay lil higher but I guess now a days nobody mind paying lil higher if that can save their time.

    • Satinder, the very reason that IRCTC site does not work during 8 to 8:30 is because these web-agents hog all the traffic (possibly using automated scripts too). Moreover, they get on to the site first so obviously they book tickets in bulk which is the reason that Tatkal tickets get over in the first 15 minutes or so. So, with the agents barred from accessing the ticketing counter(offline/online) during the peak hour, there are better chances of passengers being able to book the tickets. I agree that Agents are good since they charge for the service they provide. But why pay extra if there is a way for doing it by yourself. Now i have no idea how accessible IRCTC is going to be become after this regulation, but the intent seems logical

      • Ankit, How can agents predict that these travellers will come and take the ticket booked by them as in the eticket name and age is mentioned? Its all Railway officials and their touts plans to make more money. If you go to railway counter you see touts are sleeping from before night and they will sell the place ranging from more than Rs1000/- and more depending upon the rush. Its IRCTC to upgrade the server capacity to handle the traffic at Peak Hour. Not Baning the agents to issue tickets from 8:00 to 9:00 A.M is not solution. Railway vigilence has to check all the railway counters how the employees of railways are making money with this tatkal scheme with their touts keeping in the queue. Jaago India Jaago.

        • Sathya, can relate to the views you express. As for booking tickets without passenger details, i am not sure if agents have options to book something of blank ticket but there were definitely mentions of some web-based agents running automated scripts. As for touts spending the night at the counters for trading place, well that is going to be there. The general view has been negative but come to think of it, if web agents are indeed hogging all the bandwidth, logically speaking there should be a better chance for passengers to book tickets If you go through the actual news source, you will notice that Railways has also mentioned conducting vigilance checks to spot illegal activites but i did not include it since that part has every chance of getting murky amidst the jugadoo attittude :-)

      • I Have Some Questions? How many people are tech savy. Percentage of people who are using Internet is very low If some one is staying 100 km away from Reservation counter. IRCTC Banned Agent ID on IRCTC But Agents Can Also Book Their Ticket Through Personal ID. This Is Will Also Cause Heavy Load On IRCTC. The Same Server Problem Will Remain Because of This

        • Osaka, even normal agents will not be allowed at your reservation counters from 8-9. The ban is on both offline and online agents Secondly, if the agent logs on with a personal id, atleast he wont be able to book multiple tickets at a time. In that case, the agent will have as much a chance as you and me

    • yes right, compare to unathourised counter agents, irctc agents service is best. i don’t want to loss one day salary. i am ready to pay some charges to agents. No a day after ban for agents, counter agents collecting 200 + for one person sleeper tatkal bookings. most of commen peoples like agents only.

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