Indian Railways strengthens Tatkal Reservation system !


The Tatkal emergency reservation scheme of Indian Railways was introduced to facilitate latecomers to avail of train berths just few days before the actual date of journey on being charged nominal extra costs.

Earlier, Indian Railways kept reserved one whole bogey for Tatkal passengers; but now the accommodation system has been modified to allow few Tatkal passengers in each compartment.

However, like most public amenities being subjected to malpractice in India, even Tatkal booking scheme was not spared from black marketing and ticket hoarding by travel agents. Thus, the true purpose of the Tatkal booking scheme was defeated as the common man could not avail of emergency tickets easily.


In order to deal with this menace, Indian Railways banned travel agents from Tatkal booking through e-ticketing route on all days between 8 am to 9 am, to help reduce traffic on the site during peak opening hours, in mid-2010.

However, showing further seriousness in ensuring common man’s ability to access Tatkal reservation scheme without any manipulation, Railways have decided to reduce the advance reservation period for Tatkal tickets from 2 days to 1 day to facilitate emergency travel.

Furthermore, the first hour restriction (8 am to 9 am) for agent bookings will now be extended to two hours (until 10 am) for on-counter as well as internet bookings, in order to deal with increasing number of complaints against web-based agents that still manage to corner substantial Tatkal tickets, thus profiteering from the system loopholes.

In order to toughen up the rules further, only four passengers will now be allowed to travel per PNR for Tatkal tickets in order to allay misuse of reservation facility. The prevailing system allows a maximum of six in case of normal bookings.

The new system, which is expected to be implemented in a week’s time, will NOT allow any refund on confirmed Tatkal tickets except when trains are cancelled or running late. Currently, a flat refund of 25% of total fare charged on the ticket, excluding Tatkal charges is granted on cancellation of Tatkal ticket.

Moreover, producing identity proof will now be made mandatory while booking Tatkal tickets under the new guidelines. So, these are some welcome changes, to say the least!

  1. Sreenivas says

    The best thing is to privitise the railways…introduce the private trains which can cater the needz.. put a tough competition with the govt…I understand they will charge left and right..but when competition comes into the picture the things will come down..similar to bus system..

    Provide the permission for the states to provide their own train networks so that they can have a train from every district instead of running 100’s of buses.. we have to change the way the railways work..

    Every time the railway budget comes.. the trains only flow towards the state for which the railway minister belongs and nothing will work out. There are lots of places where the trains are over booked regularly but there will be no proper services. So once the privitization comes into picture..the money making routes will be flooded with private trains..and anyway people are ready to spend money now a days.

  2. Raj Sharma says

    mor 8 am does book tiket not possiable start at 8 am book at 8.30 am book one tiket in 30 mintue.

  3. Rohit says

    The new rules sounds interesting and can help a lot in stopping black marketing but it will be interesting to see how black marketers come with a new idea to crack this.

  4. Mustafa Ali says

    I still believe that that is not going to be enough unless they expand their capacity by 3 times. The population is rising so fast and the no of trains have not even doubled in the past 15 years.

    Has anyone of you recently done tatkal tickets….. the online thing does not proceed beyond the payment page during 8am to 9am and when we go to the counter to book the ticket, there are people waiting there since 4am…. gosh what will be the benefit of producing the ID proof when there is so much of rush & you cant book the tickets? There have been occasions when I have gone there at 5:30 am to find that I am the 15th person over there and by the time my turn comes to book the ticket… it is already waitlisted…

    We Indians are so easily impressed by the little tiny 0.00001% improvement (oh sorry I mean changes) that the government does. We should in fact make a culture of demanding services and infrastructure above par rather than applauding and analysing what the government has done.

    To cut my comment short, I am very much sure that I will have to rely on my booking agent to get my tickets until government increased the no. of trains rather than adding a few coaches to each train.

    Lets have a poll on this blog post… how many of you think this improvement (change) will really help you get the ticket a good 24hrs in advance?

    My Personal Disclaimer: No intentions of causing insult to anyone.

    Mustafa Ali
    Sunrise Trading Co., Bangalore.
    TLC Laptop Backpack Bags.

    1. Viral Dholakia says

      Very true, these are just 'so-called' system's improvement measures. But, these also come with inconveniences such as lack of planning time for the passengers to plan their journey based on Tatkal tickets availability, just a say before train boarding day.

    2. Narayanan Ayurveda says

      I agree with Mr. Mustafa Ali. I had also such experiences while trying to book Tatkal tickets. I have seen people "booking" their place in queue on the previous night itself… really. It will really be horrible ifthe train is to depart a little after midnight, say 00:30 or so. As per this system, a person will have to book a Tatkal ticket on the same day (technically the the previous day) for that. Anyway, one can only expect that rush, confusion, dismay and cacaphony at the Railway Reservaton Centres will prevail from 8 am to 10 am increasing the stress and strain to the Railway employees and the travelling public.

    3. Manish Singh says

      I completely agree with you. When we are aware that we have enough customer then why we are not increasing no of trains/seat. Restrictions is not required if we will have enough resources to use. Still agents able to book ticked and taking 500-600 Rs per individual. So restrictions are not implementing in well mannered and govt should loook ahead and increase trains of seats.
      I am not getting one tjhing that why they are not increasing the no of trains as we have enough no it's more than enough people to travel.

  5. Kanchan Sachdev says

    dats d perfect move……but what is d need of id proof at d time of online booking………………….

  6. Kanchan Sachdev says

    dats d perfect move……but what is d need of id proof at d time of online booking………………….

  7. Mallikarjun Reddy says

    What does producing ID proof during nline booking mean?

  8. Mallikarjun Reddy says

    What does producing ID proof during nline booking mean?

  9. Mallikarjun Reddy says

    What does producing ID proof during nline booking mean?

  10. Mallikarjun Reddy says

    What does producing ID proof during nline booking mean?

    1. Viral Dholakia says

      ID proof is for offline booking, and not online tatkal reservation scheme.

    2. Sandeep Chandy says

      You have to show your ID to the TT if you have an Online Ticket. For Offline Tickets you don't need to show ID.

    3. Viral Dholakia says

      Sandeep Chandy Its not about showing ID to TT. It's about producing the ID proof while BOOKING the ticket :)

  11. G Vishnu Vardhan Reddy says

    that's a good move.

  12. Imran Samani says

    A good move by indian railways- however they should also think of increasing the no. of seats/ bogeys in the train.

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