How to Book Indian Railways Tickets Online
According to the Indian Railways Annual Reports, over 18 million people per day ride on India’s trains. The figure may be staggering, but it’s even more amazing that you can book a seat on this vast rail network online. Here’s a step by step guide on how to book your Indian Railways tickets online.
1. Go to http://www.irctc.co.in/
2. Create a login name and password by clicking on “Signup” at the bottom left of the Login section. You’ll need to fill in an electronic registration form, including your personal information and a security question. Then you’ll be prompted to verify your account through the email address your provided.
3. After you have verified your account, login with your username and password. Make sure the bubble on the right of the sign in information is clicked for “train ticket.”
4. Next you should come to the “Plan My Travel” section. You’ll need to know what city you want to depart from and what city you want to arrive at before trying to find trains. Here’s a great tool to help you map out your route.
5. Once you know what city you want to depart from, start typing in the name of the city in the “From” section. The stations for that city should show up in a drop down menu. Keep in mind that if you are idle on the IRCTC site for ten minutes, the site will automatically log you out. This can get really annoying!
6. Choose the station you want to depart from, and then choose the station you want to go to. Fill in the date information and choose a class to travel by. On shorter trips, AC Chair Car is usually the most comfortable option, while Second Sitting is the cheapest option. Keep in mind that Second Sitting tickets do not reserve you a seat.
7. Finally, click on e-ticket if you want to get your ticket through email. I-tickets are delivered to an address within India. Once you have filled in all the information, click “Find Trains.”
8. A list of trains will come up. In general, the lower the number, the nicer and faster the train is. It may also be more expensive. In order to check the fares and availability of each train, click on the “Get Fare” and “Check Availability” buttons. Make sure you compare the amount of time each train takes to get to your desired destination. A nicer Shatabdi train may take one quarter of the time that a different type of train takes. Just because a train leaves earlier does not mean it will arrive earlier! If you can’t find any trains for your desired route, try changing the class. Not all routes offer all classes of travel.
9. Once you know what train you want and you know there’s seats available, click on “Book ticket.”
10. Fill in the passenger information for yourself and uncheck the box for Auto Upgradation. You’ll need to carry your passport with you in order for the ticket man to check your ticket on the train.
11. Click “GO” at the bottom when all info is filled in. Make sure to check the date and times and locations at the top before clicking “GO.”
12. You will get a huge bunch of payment options. If you want to pay by debit card or credit card, stay in the top section and Click on “CITI.” This works for most international cards. Most of the other options are aimed towards Indian passengers who do their banking in India.
13. You’ll be taken to the CITI site. Put in all the credit card info and hope the server stays up. First you need to get it authorized, and then click again to put the payment through. Only if both happen will your ticket be reserved.
14. Check your email for a confirmation or check the “My Bookings” area of the site. Make sure to print out your e-ticket before you travel!
Photo by Shannon Brennan