How to book a railway ticket on IRCTC

Indian Railways is one of the biggest road rail networks in the world. It is also one of the most pocket-friendly, safe and comfortable means of transport available in the country. So, it is natural for Indians to like travelling via railways.

Now, trains may be the popular choice of transport for many, but booking a train ticket is not that easy for everyone. Sometimes, it’s the unavailability, or the inconvenience of physical booking, or any other reason such as the lack of information of online rail ticket booking method. Thankfully, Indian Railways has a dedicated website where you can book your train tickets easily and in no time. For those, who do not know how to book a rail ticket on IRCTC website, this article provides a step by step guide.

IRCTC stands for India Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited.

Booking a Railway Ticket Online on IRCTC Website

Note: As of now, IRCTC website/app only allows its passengers to book rail tickets of Sleeper (SL) and other reserved classes. It means you cannot book a General Class train ticket online.

The rail tickets booked online via the IRCTC app or website are called eTickets. Follow the steps below to book a train eTicket via IRCTC website.

Step 1: Register on IRCTC Website

Visit the website

There is a sign-in panel at the left of the page. (See the image below).

If you already have an IRCTC account, move on to Step 2 below. If you do not have an account, click on ‘Sign up’ link, as shown in the image.

The sign up (registration) page will open that looks like this.

Fill in your details and click on ‘Submit Registration Form’ button.

Your User ID and password will be sent to your registered email address. Once your IRCTC account is created, move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Sign-in

Go to the IRCTC homepage and sign in using your User ID and password.

Step 3: Plan My Journey

The dashboard page will open after you sign-in on IRCTC. On the left side of the page, there is ‘Plan My Journey’ tab, which is open by default. (See the image below.)

Enter the ‘From Station’ (station from where you are travelling) and ‘To Station’ (station to where you are going) in the respective fields. Select the journey date and the ticket type (E-ticket). Click on Submit button.

A list of trains going from-to your selected stations on your selected date will appear in the main window.

Go through the list to find the right train as per your suitability. Click on the Ticket ‘Class’ (1A/2A/3A/SL/2S) in which you want to travel, for the corresponding train.

The Availability table will open that shows the seat availability at that time. (See the image below.)

It also shows the fare details of your selected Class in the train.

If the seats are available, it shows the number of seats available in the train for the respective date. There are other booking statuses, such as WL, RAC, which are explained below.

AVAILABLE 90 – 90 seats/berths are available

WL 45 – 45 seats are on waiting list. If you book, your number will be 46 on the waiting list.

RLWL/RLGN – Remote Location Waitlist

RAC 75 – This is Reservation Against Cancellation. If you book a Sleeper Class ticket in RAC, you will get a confirmed seat (but not necessarily sleeper berth). RAC tickets cannot be cancelled.

GNWL (General Waitlist) – The initial waitlist position

CKWLTatkal Waitlist

PQWL – Pooled Quota Waitlist

RSWL – Roadside Waitlist

REGRET/WL – The train has a long waiting list so not accepting anymore booking.

GNWL/AVAILABLE – There was a waitlist, however, at least one berth may be available now.

Step 4: Booking the Ticket

Once you find the right train with available seats, you can proceed to book your tickets.

Click on ‘Book Now’ link for the train/date you want to book your tickets, from the availability table.

Note: You can also book a waiting list (WL) or RAC ticket if you want.

A new window will open. There are the following fields on the page:

Journey Details

The details are auto-populated here based on your selection of stations, date and train/class. You can select the boarding station from the available options.

Passenger Details

Enter the details of the passengers travelling.

The details include passenger Name, Age, Gender, Birth Preference (You can select your preferred births, however, the allotment is subject to availability), Nationality, etc.

Children Below 5 Years

If you are planning to travel with children below 5 years (whose tickets are not issued), mention their details here.

The next option says ‘Book only if confirm berths are allotted’. Check this box if you want to get your tickets booked only if confirm berths (tickets) are allotted. You can further select from more available options.

If you have a preferred Coach in mind, select the checkbox for ‘Preferred Coach ID’ and enter the coach ID in the field.

Travel Insurance: Selected by default

GST Details: Optional

Captcha and other details

Enter the mobile number on which you want to receive your eTicket. The ticket will also be sent to your registered email id.

Enter the Captcha and click on ‘Next’ button to proceed.

Step 5: Making the Payment

The new page will show your train ticket booking details. Review the details and ticket fare.

Go to ‘Payment Option’.

Select from the available payment options to pay for your tickets. Click on Make Payment button.

Note: You can also choose to Pay on Delivery, however, you will have to pay an additional transactional charge.

Once the payment is done, your ticket will be booked. You can see and print the ticket on the page. Your eTicket will also be sent to your registered email address and mobile number.

You can carry an e-ticket (on your mobile phone) or a physical print out of the ticket while travelling. If your ticket is not confirmed, you can check your PNR status here.

This is how an Indian Railways ticket is booked online on IRCTC website. Alternatively, you can book train tickets on IRCTC app as well.

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