Mar 10, 2015

IRCTC Login - Quick Online Railway Booking Instructions

First step to do railway booking online is to do login on irctc. At Irctc login page of (an eTicketing site of Indian Railway) you need to enter your user id and password. Signing in process is usually fast, unless you enter incorrect login details, and you can continue to plan your journey and book tickets thereafter.

Booking online tickets of railway is a simple process most times. However, sometimes people get stuck and are not able to do booking on time. This often leads to postponing journey or cancelling it.

To help you out, we are providing instruction here which will guide you on 'how to do railway booking online on irctc' in a proper manner, so that every time you login to 'irctc login page' , you logout only after your ticket is booked.

For successful returns, one must prepare well. An important part of preparation, as we look to do railway booking online on computer/phone, is to first become eligible for using railway reservation system. To do this, we need to become a registered member of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Registration on IRCTC is free, there is no fee upfront. You can follow these instructions to signup at irctc registration page. Registration is mandatory, otherwise you won't be able to login. After completing the registration process, next thing you should do is to note down your username and password. You'll need them every time you look to do railway reservation online, either using irctc mobile app or using irctc next generation (Indian Railways new online reservation system).

Apart from credentials to be used at irctc login page, you must also have a fair idea of date of journey, travel class (in which you wish to travel), train timings that suits you, and fare (on the basis of which you would select the class of travel for your journey). If you wish to follow a certain route, keep it at the back of your mind too. With all these handy pieces of information ready, you should proceed to do railway booking.

Now go to this website: You'll see a page similar to one shown in picture below. This page is often update and hence it is liable to changes from time time. But whatever be the change, you should see space to login.
screenshot of homepage of from where you can do irctc login

How to do 'IRCTC Login'

First enter user ID and Password along with Captcha, and hit 'Login'. In case you see 'login error', as shown below, you must have entered wrong credentials (username and password) This could be typo error. Re-enter your ID and password correctly, and try to login again. Upon successful authentication from the server, you should be OK to proceed.

error message shown when you enter wrong username and password while logging in to irctc

CAPTCHA is used for Verification and to make sure you are human being and not any robot who is trying to login. If you don't enter it as-it-is, you woul see the "Invalid Captcha...." , an error message which will not allow you to sign into irctc. To correct it, refresh Captcha to get new Captcha letters and enter again.

error shown on irctc when you enter invalid captcha text at the time of login

In both the above cases just click on "OK" to proceed further.

If your attempt to do 'irctc login' is successful, you might see a message stating: "Dear customer, You have been successfully migrated to Next Generation e-Ticketing website." This message is shown to users who are upgraded to new site of IRCTC: the next generation e-Ticketing site.

options shown to users after successful login on irctc

Once logged in, you'll find three options displayed on your screen:
  1. Proceed for Booking/ Cancellation.
  2. Update Profile.
  3. My Transactions
We will talk about first option a bit later. Let's first talk about option 2 and 3. 

Using 'Update Profile' option you can change your password. It is highly recommended for new users to change the default password assigned to them by IRCTC after they register/ signup.

The 'My Transactions' option which you see here allows you to print, cancel, and file TDR (ticket depository receipt) application of your old transactions done before migration. After migration to new site, transactions can be viewed "Booked Ticket History" in Next Generation e-Ticketing website.

Now coming back to first option - "Proceed for booking/ cancellation". While cancellation is a simple process which involves selecting a ticket among the booked tickets and cancelling entire ticket or partial (done in case some of the passengers and not all are cancelled), booking a new ticket requires some understanding.

When you proceed for booking you will land on page that allows you to plan your journey from start to finish. This page also shows you options for printing and cancelling tickets, to see booked history of tickets booked using old and new site, file TDR and to see refund status.

options for printing and canceling tickets; and to file tdr, and see refund status on irctc

Booking Railway Tickets on IRCTC

There are two options for railway ticket booking:

  1. Booking railway ticket using "Plan My Journey" option.
  2. Booking railway ticket using "Quick Book" option.
The quick book option is useful for users who knows essentials details related to journey in advance and are sure about things like - train number, days on which train runs, and the availability in that train for the quota or travel class in which they wish to travel. If a user has all this information he can book ticket fast by using "quick book".

irctc quick book option for ticket booking

But most users use the first option - i.e. they choose to plan their journey in a step by step manner.

irctc plan my journey option for booking tickets

When you choose this option you need no prior information about the train or its travel classes and quota, or its running schedule, before doing reservation.

Just enter the station from where you want to commence your journey in "From Station" field and your destination (the station up to which you want to travel) in "To Station" field of the form. Select journey date by clicking in calendar icon or by entering it in "dd-mm-yyyy" format (d for day, m for month, and Y for year). Choose one between e-ticket and i-ticket from "Ticket Type" list box. Check the option "I'll book in Handicap concession" (it's optional) if you are a handicapped person and want to get concession or discount in fare. Submit the form.

Now you shall see the list of all trains available between the stations which run on your journey date. Along with train name and number, useful information such as travel time, arrival and departure time, start and end stations, travel distance, train running days, and travel class is also displayed. Understand this by example shown below. In this example the we choose "New Delhi" as source station and "Mumbai Central" as destination.

list of trains between two stations shown on irctc at the time of booking tickets

To get the availability and fare information, click on travel class shown against each train in the table.

To get the schedule for a particular train, just click on it's number. For example, clicking on train number '12954' displays the entire schedule and route for the train named - "August Kranti Rajdhani Express".

train route and schedule shown based on train selected by user

If you are finding all this information too much to grasp you can filter the results by using various filtering options. You can filter the trains by quota's such as:

These options can be selected by selecting radio buttons at the top of the page.

You can further reduce the trains listed by choosing journey class and train types options. Journey classes are 1A, 2A, 3A, CC, SL. Train types are Rajdhani, Garib Rath, Others (mail/express, duronto trains). 

In some cases the starting station of the train could be different (usually a nearby station) then what you mentioned in "Plan my Journey" form. If this is the case you might number number of different stations listed indicating the start station of train. If you are interested in trains starting from one specific station only you can uncheck all other stations to reduce the listed trains between the stations.

filtering trains by journey class, train types, and stations

Select one class among the various travel classes listed against any of the train. Upon doing so the seat availability at that time and option to book ticket is shown.

base fare and other charges that make up the total irctc charges and seat availability

For the benefit of users various components of the train fare like base fare, reservation charge, superfast charge, tatkal charge, catering charge, other charges and service tax along with total fare is displayed too.

Choose "Book Now" option to book your ticket.

User will need to enter passenger details on "Journey Details" page. You can also enter these details from the travel list of master passenger list. These lists can be maintained by going to profile page.

You need to enter passenger name, age, select gender (male/female), berth preference (lower, upper, side lower, cabin, coupe etc.), check if you are senor citizen, and optionally enter your Aadhaar card no. for valid Identification (ID). ID  proof is compulsory needed when traveling in train and not at the time of booking. Please note that ticket is not issued to children below 5 years of age, but you need to provide their details too.

form to enter journey details (passenger details) on

You will see the mobile number already filled. IRCTC automatically fills this field by using the same number you provided during the registration. If you wish to change this number you can edit it. This is important as SMS will be sent to this number. The message will contain details like PNR number, coach and seat number, journey date etc. A user can show this message along with ID card while travelling. There is no need to take a print out of electronic reservation slip.

Enter the CAPTCHA. Carefully enter it as it is case sensitive. Submit the details.

Now you will be shown your journey summary. This displays in concise form all the details of your journey and provides option to make payment or replan your journey in case you feel you need to correct something.

journey summary

All what is left is to make payment. But we will discuss about payment options and how to pay for booking tickets online on IRCTC bit late. First an important note.

Seat Availability

You will see seat availability status shown on summary page in "Availability Details" section. This availability is for all berths, not for your preferred berth type. This status is temporary and can change any time. This is because as tickets are booked throughout the country across PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counters, any confirmed status shown here may decline into RAC/ Waiting List status, while your payment is being processed. So keep this in mind and do check PNR status even after the ticket is booked.

Reservation Charges and Payment

Now coming back to payment options and charges, you'll glad to know that multiple options are available user to pay the ticket booking charges. Total amount to be paid include base fare, service charges, reservation charges, and taxes. To see latest irctc charges go to homepage.

Following IRCTC payment options are available:

  • Internet Banking.
  • Payment Gateway/ Credit Card.
  • Debit Card.
  • Cash Card/ Wallets.
  • IRCTC Prepaid.
  • EMI.
While few of the above payment options are something you are already familiar of, others like cash card, wallets, and EMI require explanation.

There are 3 cash cards that IRCTC presently support. These are:
  1. ITZ cash card,
  2. I cash card
  3. OXI cash card
These cash cards can be used for paying other bills too. If you already have one of these card you can pay on IRCTC using them.

IRCTC E Wallets: Wallets are like online purse. You store money in them and it is debited automatically when you make payment. Read more about advantages and using e wallets in our guides - why use Paytm for IRCTC railway booking and Fast tatkal ticket booking using IRCTC eWallet. Wallets are getting more and more popular, especially after govt. of India demonetisation move.

IRCTC EMI: Using EMI option user can pay amount in monthly installments to the bank. Currently only Citi Bank account holders can make use of EMI option.

IRCTC prepaid card - known as "RUPAY", is another good option. It is introduced with the help of Union Bank of India.  Read more about it in guide - How to use UBI prepaid card for fast ticket booking on IRCTC. All RUPAY debit card holders can also pay through 'Rupay - CARD KOTAK PG'.

VISA/Master credit card holders can use payment gateways like ICICI PG, HDFC PG, CITI PG payment gateways for ticket booking if enabled by card issuer.

Important note: during the booking process never hit the back button on your browser or refresh the page. This will abandon you session and you'll need to do the booking again from the start. Although in some cases the next generation e Ticketing system may allow user to resume the transaction from where the session got abandoned or timed out.
If you are logged out automatically before booking your tickets you can repeat the above process, starting from irctc login, as explained above.