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Jan 12, 2017

Do you want to know your train seat before booking tickets on IRCTC ?

People are always curious to know which berth will be allocated to them in train when they book their railway tickets. This is because if they know their seat number in advance it will be easy for them to decide whether or not to go ahead with booking in that particular train. This will make it possible for them to change the train if they don't like the seat (for example, when the don't get the much preferred lower seat).

Question is - Is it Possible to know the berth allocation in advance? We all know that seat allocation is done online through complex computer algorithm, and it also depends upon the seat availability status at the time of booking.

seat in a train
Which seat will I get in train?


Given the fact that Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation's (IRCTC) railway booking system is one of the most advanced railway reservation system, it won't be an aerial expectation if someone want's to know the exact seat allocated to him/her even before ticket is booked from this next generation system. This is an era of artificial intelligence and robots, and one expects that one of the world's largest railway system to have a technology in place which lets its users know their berth number before booking.

But is there any such technology?

Is there any feature available at IRCTC online booking site -irctc.co.in, using which a passenger can know his berth allocation status?

We spent almost an hour on irctc.co.in site. We went through all its sections, including services, quick ticket booking, enquiry, accommodations, and many others. While we could not exactly find a feature which tells you your seat in advance, we did find something useful which using which you will have an idea of your seat. You can almost demand a seat which you want. 'Almost' because it is just a request to  the system "I request you to grant me this seat on my journey". Your wish may or may not be granted.

There is a section on ticket reservation page where you enter passenger details and below which there are options to opt for preferred seat ( this is shown on how to get seats in train side by side) This is just where "consider for auto upgradation" option is available.

Here there are 3 options:

  1. Book my ticket only if atleast 1 lower berth is allocated.
  2. Book my ticket only if atleast 2 lower berths are allocated.
  3. Book my ticket if all the above passengers are allocated berth in same coach.
Using one of these options (especially one of top 2) you will ensure that your get a lower berth when your ticket is booked.

But still there is no way to know your seat number before ticket booking is completed. You can however tell your preferred coach at the time of booking online. This way, at least you would know that seat will be given to you in that particular coach, if it is available.

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