In a recent big move from Indian Railways, IRCTC is going to modify the ticket availability window for travelers. With new rules coming into effect from October 10th, passengers will be able to book tickets 5 minutes before the departure. Earlier to this, RailRecipe has updated regarding the decision of running special trains for the upcoming festive season.
What’s The New Ticketing Rule About?
From October 10 onwards, railway seats will be available even five minutes before the train leaves the station, as the Indian Railways has decided to restore the pre-COVID system of preparing the second reservation chart half an hour before the departure time. Regular passenger train services remain suspended in wake of the pandemic. But the Indian Railways in a staggered manner is restoring the pre-COVID practices and is also running special trains.
Earlier, the system of preparation for the second reservation chart was around 4 hours before the departure. Also, due to the pandemic situation, the release timing of the second reservation list was revised to 2 hrs before the departure time. With a view of moving towards normalcy, IR has decided to shorten this window to last 30 minutes.
What All is Changing from October 10th with New Rules Regarding Reservation?
Here’re a few key things to be noted for the upcoming changes:
- The second reservation charts which used to be prepared 2 hrs before the departure of the trains, will now be prepared 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains from stations. This was normal before COVID.
- Train tickets can be booked until the second reservation chart is prepared. As of tomorrow, these charts will be prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before the scheduled departure, tickets can be booked during this time.
- The first chart is prepared at least four hours before the scheduled departure of the train. If seats become vacant owing to cancellation, they can be booked through PRS counters and online till the preparation of the second chart.
- Pre-booked tickets can also be canceled during this time, as per the provisions of the refund rules.
- As we all know that the timings were changed during the pandemic as initially, tickets were only available online. The Railways was avoiding crowding at the stations and the aim was to discourage people from traveling unless absolutely necessary.
- In the last few months, the situation has changed. The Centre has been focussing more on reopening instead of locking down. The Railways has started several new trains as well. With the festive season coming, the Railways have already announced 39 pairs of new special trains. It has not yet announced a date for these special trains but they will be operational between October 15 and November 30.
- Ticketing update with such a window would surely help the last moment festive travel planners to secure a seat for their travel.
Central Railway Information System (CRIS) has been advised to update their systems of ticket booking which can be made effective from 10th October. These moves are sequential initiatives to ease the lockdown which was imposed on 25th March this year. Make sure you check the bookings from 10th October for your train journey. This would be available for both bookings made via online modes and through the PRS counter.
In case you are planning to travel, make sure to pre-book your food in train online to have a hassle-free journey experience. Also, make sure you follow the comprehensive travel guidelines for COVID-19.