How Do You Book a Ticket on Indian Railways?


Quick Answer

Train tickets for traveling using Indian Railways require advance booking. Travelers can use either the official Indian Railways ticket sales website, IRCTC.co.in, or a private company such as ClearTrip.com. The IRCTC website only accepts Amex card issued in certain countries, not including the US while ClearTrip.com accepts Visa or MasterCard payments.

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Full Answer

An advance reservation is required for all long-distance journeys on Indian trains. All reservations are computerized. The official websites of India Railways provide information on seat availability on major travel routes. Reservations open 120 days before departure.

Make your reservations as early as possible because trains get fully booked weeks or even months in advance. After a train becomes fully booked by passengers with confirmed reservations (CNF), you can still get a Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) ticket. With an RAC ticket, you can board the train without a reserved seat. If a confirmed passenger cancels before departure, you can get a confirmed seat. Check the status before departure online or on the notice board at the station. Waiting lists are available for passengers who want to book a ticket when RAC places are no longer available. However, you cannot travel if you are not promoted to a RAC or CNF ticket before departure.

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