Earlier, passengers used to book a train ticket from the railway PRS counter by filling out a reservation booking form to reserve seats and get paper tickets. But with the introduction of the facility to book IRCTC train tickets online, called e-Tickets, passengers can conveniently book their train tickets through computers or mobile phones.
IRCTC online ticket booking facilitates passengers to cancel their e-Tickets easily, change the boarding point, transfer the ticket to a family member, change the passenger’s name, and avail of several other e-Ticket booking services.
How to Book IRCTC e-Tickets
IRCTC, an official website of Indian Railways, assists passengers in booking e-Tickets easily with a user-friendly interface. IRCTC is a subsidiary of Indian Railways that manages online ticket booking services through two platforms:
Website: IRCTC Next Generation e-Ticketing System
Mobile App: IRCTC Rail Connect
These two are the only Indian Railways official IRCTC online train booking platforms. However, many train ticket booking apps and websites integrated with IRCTC allow you to book train e-Tickets online.
How to Book e-Tickets Through the IRCTC Website
To book IRCTC e-Tickets, you must have an IRCTC ID. Only a registered user can make railway ticket bookings online. Do the following for online train booking reservations through IRCTC:
- Login to IRCTC using your credentials (Registered ID and password).
- Search for your trains by entering your origin and destination stations in the “From-To” option and select the desired date of your journey.
- Check the train seat availability and click on the “Book now” button to book tickets on a train by selecting your travel class and quota.
- Fill in your details carefully by providing the passenger’s name, age, gender, berth preference and food preference. Then click on ‘Continue Booking’ at the end of the page.
- Proceed with payment for IRCTC ticket booking online using different modes such as debit cards, credit cards, net banking, digital wallets, etc.
- After the successful payment, your ticket will be booked.
- The IRCTC ticket confirmation page will be displayed on your screen.
How to Book Train Ticket with IRCTC Rail Connect App
Apart from the IRCTC e-ticketing website, you can use the IRCTC Rail Connect app to book your train ticket online. Follow these steps to book train tickets with the Rail connect app.
- Install the Rail Connect app from the play store on your mobile phone and log in with IRCTC credentials.
- Tap on the ‘Train’ for e-ticket booking.
- Select ‘Book Ticket’ from the list of options available. Enter the source station under ‘From’ and the destination station under ‘To’.
- Select the journey date. You can also tick the ‘Flexible with Date’ option if you don’t have a fixed date.
- In case you are eligible for a concession, click on the box for a special concession booking.
- Tap on the ‘Search Trains’ for the option to browse through trains
- Select a train from the list provided and Quota like General, Ladies, Senior Citizen, Tatkal, Premium Tatkal, Divyaang, etc.
- Click on the class to view seat availability. Here, You can also see an option for the probability of confirmation of Waiting List tickets.
- Click on ‘Book Now’ to continue ticket booking process.
- Enter the passenger details, including name, age, gender, berth preference, nationality etc. Click on ‘Done’ after checking all details.
- Select ‘Yes’ if you want to travel with travel insurance
- Tap on ‘Book Ticket’ to continue booking. Enter the Captcha code.
- Click on ‘Proceed to Payment’ to make the payment and book the ticket. Users can pay using e-wallets, BHIM/UPI, net banking, credit/debit cards etc.
- After booking the ticket, you can click on the ‘Save Ticket’ option. Afterwards, you can see the booked ticket under the ‘My Bookings’ option.
How to Get an E-ticket
You can get the IRCTC e-ticket by:
- Virtual reservation message (VRM) on your registered mobile number.
- A booking confirmation mail is sent to your registered email ID.
- The ERS can be viewed under ‘Booking History’ on the IRCTC website.
- You can download the E-ticket from your mail.
- For IRCTC train ticket printing, you can use the “Print Ticket” option on the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS).
How to Carry e-Tickets While Travelling
After completing the reservation, you will get the e-Ticket for your journey in different forms. These include:
ERS: You can access your train ticket through Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS). To access the ERS, visit IRCTC, Click on My Account, fetch My Transactions and Booked Ticket History. You will see your ticket. Here, you can take an IRCTC ticket printout and carry it as proof of booking.
VRM: You will also receive the confirmation mail to your registered mail ID with the reservation details. The screenshot of this reservation mail or a screenshot of the e-Ticket displayed by mobile, laptops etc., is called a Virtual Reservation Message or VRM. It is accepted as proof of booking by Indian Railways.
SMS: Railways also accepts the reservation SMS as proof of booking received from IRCTC in your registered mobile number.
You must have a valid photo identity proof while carrying your E-ticket through ERS, VRM or SMS.
How to Cancel Your e-Ticket Bookings in IRCTC
You can easily cancel your e-Tickets online through IRCTC. IRCTC website allows you to cancel the e-ticket fully or partially. By following these easy steps, you can make online IRCTC ticket cancellation:
- Login to your IRCTC
- Go to ‘My Transactions’ and click on the ‘Booked Ticket History’ link on the menu bar.
- Click on ‘cancel ticket.’
- Select the ticket which you want to cancel and click on the ‘cancel ticket’ option.
- Select the checkbox before the passenger’s name you want to cancel and click on the ‘cancel ticket’.
- A confirmation pop-up will be displayed. Click the ‘OK’ button to confirm the ticket cancellation.
- Your ticket will get cancelled successfully.
If it is a partially cancelled ticket, then you will get a new ERS to show to the TTE during the train journey.
On successful IRCTC ticket cancellation, the cancellation amount displayed on the screen will be refunded. A confirmation message for IRCTC e-ticket cancellation will be sent to the registered mobile number, and a confirmation mail will be sent to the email ID.
IRCTC E-Ticket Cancellation Rules
Specific rules bound to the cancellation of e-Tickets include:
- An e-Ticket can only be cancelled online and can’t be cancelled through PRS counters.
- Confirmed e-Ticket bookings can be cancelled up to 4 hours before the scheduled train departure.
- RAC and Waitlisted e-Tickets can be cancelled up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure.
- After chart preparation, you can cancel your online IRCTC train booking only by filing a Ticket Deposit Receipt or TDR.
IRCTC Online Booking Cancellation Refund Rules
Before cancelling your online train booking, you must know some of IRCTC refund rules:
- After the IRCTC train ticket cancellation, you will get the refund amount after deducting applicable cancellation charges.
- For IRCTC e-Tickets booked online, the cancellation amount will be refunded to the account which was used to make the payment at the time of booking.
- Cancellation of a confirmed ticket more than 48 hrs before the scheduled departure of the train: The ticket cancellation charges shall be deducted at Rs 240 for 1 AC Class/Executive Class, Rs 200 for 2 AC Tier/First Class, Rs 180 for 3 AC Tier/AC Chair Car/AC 3 Economy, Rs 120 for Sleeper Class and Rs 60 for Second Class.
- IRCTC ticket cancellation charges for the confirmed ticket within 48 hrs and up to 12 hours before the scheduled departure of the train shall be 25% of the fare. Less than 12 hours and 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train up to chart preparation, whichever is earlier, 50% of the fare is paid subject to the minimum IRCTC cancellation charges.
What Does IRCTC e-Ticket Contain?
The IRCTC e-ticket holds complete detail of your journey and personal information. The information shown in the IRCTC e-ticket is the PNR number, Train name/number, Source station, Destination station, Boarding station, Booking transaction ID, Ticket booking date, Date of journey etc.
What is the Difference Between e-Tickets and i-Tickets?
Indian Railways initiated two ticketing systems for people who do not have access to book train ticket from counters.
(i) e-Tickets – Paperless Electronic Tickets
(ii) i-Tickets – Print Internet Tickets
Passengers with access to the internet used to book i-Tickets through the IRCTC website, and get a printout of the ticket through courier. Although, the provision for booking i-Tickets has been discontinued by IRCTC in 2018. Currently, only e-Tickets booking through IRCTC is allowed.
At present, you can conveniently book e-tickets online and travel by train. Moreover, you can also book food on train to enjoy your train journey. Rail food app, RailRestro offers varieties including veg, nonveg, Chinese, and regional food on train. With it, passengers can also order cake, pizza, burgers and other continental food on train.
Moreover, With this IRCTC e-catering app, you can check live train status, PNR status, train schedule, and live station online.