A train ticket can be booked in two ways today: general and Tatkal. While both options can be selected while booking a train ticket from the website of IRCTC, Indian Railways' ticket booking arm, the passenger has to bear certain extra charges for Tatkal tickets. 'Tatkal', meaning immediate, is meant for booking of train tickets on a short notice. IRCTC, through its ticket booking portal irctc.co.in, advises users to check availability of tickets in the general quota first before opting for the Tatkal option. IRCTC charges a fee ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 500 for booking of a Tatkal ticket. The charges levied by IRCTC depend upon the class of booking, such as AC, executive and sleeper. A train ticket under Tatkal category can be booked online or though the Railways' Passenger Reservation Centers.
IRCTC has set up different payment mechanisms for enabling the users to make payments towards their bookings of Tatkal tickets. Through its e-wallet facility, IRCTC provides an alternate payment mechanism for booking a train ticket online. Using the IRCTC e-wallet, a user can book a rail ticket - general as well as Tatkal - through mobile app IRCTC Rail Connect.
Tatkal booking timings
Bookings of train ticket through the Tatkal scheme open at 10:00 am for AC classes, and 11:00 am in case of non-AC classes, a day in advance of actual date of journey, according to the Railway website - indianrail.gov.in.
The Indian Railways has stipulated charges for Tatkal booking as a percentage of fare, subject to certain minimum and maximum amounts:
|Class of Travel||Minimum Tatkal Charges (in Rs.)||Maximum Tatkal Charges (in Rs.)||Minimum Distance for charge (in Km)|
|Reserve Second sitting (2S)||10||15||100|
|AC Chair Car||125||225||250|
|AC 3 Tier||300||400||500|
|AC 2 Tier||400||500||500|
Under the sleeper class, for example, Indian Railways charges a minimum of Rs 100 and a maximum of Rs 200 for booking of a train ticket under the Tatkal quota. For an AC Chair Car ticket, the charges levied by the IRCTC are in the range of Rs 125-225.