When you opt for booking Tatkal tickets on IRCTC website, you get this message: "Check general quota availability before opting for Tatkal/premium Tatkal quota." In other words, IRCTC, which is the e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, advises passengers to first look for seat availability under the general quota before choosing the Tatkal scheme. The Tatkal option, introduced in 1997, is meant for those who at a short notice. Passengers have to pay extra charges for booking tickets under the Tatkal quota. Tatkal tickets can be booked through Railways' Passenger Reservation Centers as well as through internet.
IRCTC offers different payment mechanisms for making online payments for Tatkal tickets. It has also introduced a new payment mechanism for booking e-tickets, including Tatkal tickets: IRCTC e-wallets. Now, IRCTC e-wallet users can book rail e-tickets including Tatkal quota tickets through mobile app IRCTC Rail Connect.
Tatkal Booking Timings:
According to Railways, only two Tatkal tickets can be booked for single user ID in opening Tatkal from 10:00-12:00 hrs. Bookings for Tatkal tickets for AC classes open at 10:00 am and for non-AC classes at 11:00 am, a day in advance of actual date of journey. Moreover, only two Tatkal tickets per IP address between 10:00-12:00 hrs. are allowed.
Agents are not allowed to book tickets between 08:00 am to 08:30 am, 10:00 am to 10:30 am and 11:00 am to 11:30 am to prevent cornering of tickets at the time of opening of Tatkal and Advance Reservation Period bookings.
Earlier the Ministry of Railways had outlined more measures taken to avoid misuse of Tatkal scheme: To prevent fraudulent booking through automation software, captcha has been implement in registration, login and booking page for online Tatkal ticket booking. Making OTP (one time password) compulsory for all internet banking payment options as well as imposition of minimum time limit before proceeding for payment gateway as well as after making payment while booking tickets through internet are some of the other measures to strengthen the Tatkal ticketing system.
According to the Railways, Tatkal ticket booking charges are calculated as a percentage of fare subject to minimum and maximum as given here below.
|Class of travel||Minimum Tatkal charges (in Rs.)||Maximum Tatkal charges (in Rs.)||Minimum distance for charge (in km)|
|AC Chair Car||125||225||250|
|AC 3 Tier||300||400||500|
|AC 2 Tier||400||500||500|
Ticket Refund/Cancellation Rules
To prevent misuse of Tatkal scheme, no refund is given on confirmed Tatkal tickets except in case of certain special circumstances. Railways grants refund of full fare of confirmed Tatkal tickets in some cases and in case of e-tickets, the customer has to use the Ticket Deposit Receipt or TDR facility provided by IRCTC website.
A refund of fare and Tatkal charges on confirmed tickets booked under the Tatkal scheme is granted only in specific circumstances: 1) if the train is delayed by more than three hours at the journey originating point of the passenger and not the boarding point if the passenger's journey originating point and boarding point are different; 2) if the train is to run on a diverted route and passenger is not willing to travel; 3) if the train is to run on diverted route and boarding station or the destination or both the stations are not on the diverted route; 4) in case of non-attachment of coach in which Tatkal accommodation has been earmarked and the passenger has not been provided accommodation in the same class, and 5) if the party has been accommodated in lower class and does not want to travel.
Cancellation of RAC/wait-listed Tatkal tickets
For RAC or wait-listed tickets if confirmed reservation has been provided at any time up to final preparation of charts, such a ticket is treated as confirmed, according to the IRCTC website.
An RAC or wait-listed ticket is presented for cancellation, the refund of fare is made after deducting the clerkage if the ticket is present for cancellation up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train, says IRCTC.