IRCTC’s ‘Vikalp’ Scheme Is Revolutionary – 8 Things You Need To Know About This Scheme

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IRCTC Indian Railways Train Ticket Booking Website

As of now, there is a mismatch between accommodation in reserved trains – While some trains are running with additional passengers, there are some trains which are running empty. And the irony is that, in most of the cases, both of these trains are running in the same direction.

To avoid such situation, Indian Railway has announced a new scheme called ‘Vikalp’ (Option), which can prove to be beneficial for all wait-listed passengers. And, at the same time, it can optimally utilise railways’ resources as well.

Here are 8 facts about Vikalp scheme which every train traveller should be aware of:

  1. Assume you have a wait-listed ticket for a train called Lucknow Mail which goes from New Delhi to Lucknow, every day at 10 PM. The Chart has been prepared, and your ticket shows wait-listed # 32. Under Vikalp scheme, your ticket can be allocated to the next available train, which is going towards Lucknow from Delhi, and leaves after 10 PM.
  2. Hence, without paying anything extra, your ticket can be upgraded or moved to another class under Vikalp. Assuming that you have a Sleeper class ticket for Lucknow Mail, which is wait-listed. Under Vikalp, your ticket can be upgraded to AC Superfast Express which leaves at 11.30 PM for Lucknow. You are not required to pay anything additional for the upgrade.
  3. Hence, theoretically speaking, any ticket which is waitlisted can now be used to travel in premium trains like Shatabdi or Rajdhani, without any extra cost.
  4. Vikalp Scheme is only for those tickets which have been booked via IRCTC website. As soon as the chart is prepared, and if your ticket is wait-listed, you will get an SMS, informing about activation of Vikalp option, and your new train, coach and berth numbers would be shared.
  5. You have the option to either choose Vikalp option, and travel in another train, or cancel the existing ticket. In case of cancellation, the normal rules apply for wait-listed trains.
  6. Once you opt for the Vikalp option, you can always upgrade to another higher class in the new train, by paying the difference of cost. For example, you had a AC 3 ticket, but under Vikalp, you got a sleeper class berth in a new train. Now, ocne you say yes to Vikalp, you can always upgrade to AC 3 in the new train by paying the difference of amount (in case berths are available). But the default allocation of ticket in a new train under Vikalp shall be free of cost, and included in the cost of the original ticket.
  7. Now, after you say yes to Vikalp, and then you decide to cancel, then the cancellation shall be treated for a confirmed berth on the new train, not on the basis of wait-listed ticket on the old train.
  8. Only those passengers whose tickets are wait-listed even after preparation of chart would be eligible for Vikalp option. And, once you have said yes to Vikalp, you cannot board the original train, for which your ticket was issued in waiting list.

Explaining the rationale behind Vikalp, a senior Railway official said, “We aim to achieve the twin objectives of providing confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation by this scheme.”

Pan-India roll out of Vikalp shall start from April 1st. However, Indian Railways had been running the scheme on a pilot basis on few routes such as Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Mumbai, since November 1st.

Do you think that Vikalp scheme would be beneficial? Do let us know by commenting right here!

"IRCTC’s ‘Vikalp’ Scheme Is Revolutionary - 8 Things You Need To Know About This Scheme", 4 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
  1. rajashekar naidu says

    the cons of this scheme is that it keep you hanging with a hope that you may still have a chance on vikalp option.
    Rather if it is like this
    for ex .. today I book a ticket waitlisted in Train A and however it is Available or RAC in Train B. Then if my vikalp option is also train B then I should have an alternate confirmation/assurance that atleast i will get the current status of Train B or atleast RAC if confirm ticket cant be given which is the current status in train B. This will help us to know beforehand at the time of booking itself that our mode of transport is train or something else……..this will also sort a query of brother who said how will make it to station if i get a confirmation 2 hours before train and my distance is more than 2 hours

  2. Rajesh Grover says

    yes, it is a definately good article and helpful. I have booked a ticket for today from Seldah to Siliguri Jn with vikalp option, but the booked train has not allocated a confirmed seat, and it showed as WL for 13149 kanchan kanya… hope i will receive an SMS, waiting at Sealdah Stn.

  3. K R dhapte says

    Log in, Go to booking histroy, select ticket booked whichever you want to avail Vikalp .
    Below you can see opt Vikalp scheme, select whichever alternate train you wish to travel,

  4. y. panchakrupa says

    i just booked a ticket for Falaknama express.its on waiting list. how do i excercise the option now for Vikalp?

  5. y. panchakrupa says

    This is a good proposal. good scheme. i will be happy to avail the facility.

  6. K R dhapte says

    This Vikalp scheme to be public freindly and should not penalize travellers with additional cost.
    If a traveller has been allocated lower class ,than difference in cost has to be credited back. Similarly if the traveller has been allocated higher berth, than obviously, he or she has to bear only 50% of the difference, because railways is gaining something instead of empty seat.

  7. Sridhar J. says

    One point is the Vikalp scheme is unclear. I list out three examples. Please confirm if I have understood them clearly:

    Case 1: Original Booking 3A: Train “A”, waitlisted. VIKALP Option taken on Train “B” Vikalp allotted in Train “B” in 2A. No extra payment is required.

    ?Case 2: Original Booking 3A: Train “A”, waitlisted. VIKALP Option taken on Train “B” Vikalp allotted in Train “B” in SL. Railways will refund the difference between 3A and SL.

    Case 3: Original Booking 3A: Train “A”, waitlisted. VIKALP Option taken on Train “B” Vikalp allotted in Train “B” in SL. Railways will refund the difference between 3A and SL. But if 2A is available, Railways will collect the difference between 3A and 2A and allot 2A.

    Please guide me and oblige.

  8. G K Grover says

    i had booked a ticket through IRCTC website in Rewa Anand Vihar train from Kanpur to Anand Vihar on 12.11.17 but the train is about 8-9 hours late. so i cancelled the ticket from website and purchase a general ticket. i want to know that Could I not cancelled the ticket and choose the Vikalp option. Yes or no..

  9. Ranjan says

    It is a stupid and thoughtless option as most people book in a train which suits them as per their need of timing, route and the duration. Vikalp often offers trains at odd timings.

  10. Abdul says

    Hi,
    If i have booked ticket which is in wait list and opted fro VIKALP.
    Original train chart prepared and remains PNR status as wait listed.
    Is it for sure that i can get seat in next alternate train?
    If not how can i come to know?
    If not provided seat in any train, should i get my amount back?

  11. Peera says

    I think, Once chart prepared, we should get the details about VIKALP status on mobile, and there should be option on website to verify.

    This give the user about to plan to early leave the station from home.

    1. Rajesh Grover says

      You are absolutely right…today 010418…I am Sealdah station having a Tatkal ticket booked to Siliguri, and my ticket has been cancelled in the primary waiting. Now since the status is not known, I am unable to go by Bus (Red bus or any) just because its a tatkal ticket and non refundable. In case if the status for other two vikalp trains is understood, it would have been easy to plan.

  12. san says

    No time limit for waiting the vikalp result . if the distance between home and Rly station more than 50 km we got information two hours ago how will we manage . any solution plz tell me

  13. Tejaswini says

    I have opted for Vikalp scheme from Mumbai to Delhi. But I don’t understand the vikalp status of ticket. I kept on waiting after the chart has been prepared if I get any SMS, but I didn’t get any.
    This creates a great confusion. I don’t understand the status of our ticket. And I don’t know till how long can I have a hope to get a ticket or forget that the tickets are not confirmed.
    There should be button added in the irctc website and app, so as to explain the vikalp status of my ticket

  14. Balan S says

    Vikalp is definitely a positive idea for optimum utilisation of Railways resources.

  15. Naidu says

    Good decision. When we are digitalising the transactions why chart preparation?. Why can’t be transparent in booking. Avoid blocking the tickets. Blocking and chart preparation leads corruption. Is it not known to Prabhu. Modi is honest. Let him think of it.

    1. Praveen says

      I vote for your proposal. I do agree train reservation is way complicated that we think.. but IRCTC.CO.IN is worth upgrading to handle all such possible scenarios well ahead of time.

  16. Kumar Paranjape says

    Yes but partially. Because if departure of the berth allowed train is not suitable then what is option. There should be option to quit without any loss

  17. Vikas says

    “Once you opt for the Vikalp option, you can always upgrade to another higher class in the new train, by paying the difference of cost. For example, you had a AC 3 ticket, but under Vikalp, you got a sleeper class berth in a new train. Now, ocne you say yes to Vikalp, you can always upgrade to AC 3 in the new train by paying the difference of amount (in case berths are available). But the default allocation of ticket in a new train under Vikalp shall be free of cost, and included in the cost of the original ticket.”

    The above quote is misleading and confusing. Please explain better.

    1. SHAIK JAKEER says

      In vikalp option u may upgrade or lower grade ur ticket means
      1.if u book a sleeper class u can get a AC seat .
      2. If u book a AC class ticket u can get a sleeper class
      3. Suppose if u bokked a AC class ticket ,in vikalp it has been changed to slepper class ticket to next train . If u wanna go to AC class in such train u have to pay the difference .

    2. Karamjit says

      I think the author meant an upgrade to AC 2 ticket (erroneously mentioned as AC 3 ticket)…..

      1. john says

        u should think again…..he mentioned correctly..

    3. Vishal says

      “”For example, you had a AC 3 ticket, but under Vikalp, you got a sleeper class berth in a new train. Now, ocne you say yes to Vikalp, you can always upgrade to AC 3 in the new train by paying the difference of amount (in case berths are available). “”

      – Why I have to pay for AC 3 if I have already paid for AC3 for the original train. If AC 3 is already available then how it is not been provided already???

    4. Shaheen says

      Why should we pay for the difference when we have already paid for AC 3Tier?

  18. Anil C Deshmukh says

    The ” VIKALP ” scheme appears to be good but ; some flaws are to be looked at.
    For example, if a ac clasd wait listed tickect is allocated a sleeper clads accommodation and the person wish an upgrading ; then why the differences be paid by him in next reserved train ??

    Also, if the wait listed passenger wants to NOT to avail Vikalp in lower class reservation in next train, he should not be punished for cancellations as Confirmed passenger in VIKALP train

    1. Praveen says

      Btw, why should his ticket be Lower graded, IF AT ALL there will be an availability in the same or higher class? I doubt that scenario would never arise !?

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