Booking of railway tickets in tatkal starts one day prior to date of journey. Timings for different reservation classes are as follows:

  • Air Conditioned Coaches: Booking Starts at 10 AM.
  • Non Air Conditioned  Coaches: Reservation starts at 11 AM.

Note down above mentioned tatkal booking timings for booking your railway tickets fast.

What is Tatkal? 'Tatkal' means 'this very moment,' and Indian Railways Tatkal scheme is for those people who are looking for immediate reservation. Tatkal tickets are booked by those people who, for some reason, were unable to do booking earlier, and seats under regular quota are already occupied.

Under Tatkal Scheme, the ticket booking starts one day prior to the journey day from train originating station. This scheme is used by people to get a confirmed ticket; albeit by paying higher reservation charges than normal. Rates of Tatkal tickets is much higher than when you do reservation in other quota's. Only condition is you will need to do booking today, if you plan to travel tomorrow, and seats are available.

Can I Cancel Tatkal tickets?

Of course, you can. But remember that you won't get any refund for your ticket cancellation if you have a confirmed tatkal ticket. On the other hand, if your ticket is wait listed or partially confirmed, refunds you get will be as per railway refund rules applicable in other types of quota's.

How Tatkal Tickets are different from Premium Tatkal tickets?

Indian Railways operate special types of train called 'premium trains'. In these trains the fare is dynamic and keeps changing depending on occupancy of seats, fuel price, and other factors. Premium tatkal tickets are like tatkal tickets, but they are only for premium trains. Since the fare is not static in premium trains, hence even tatkal fare keeps on changing.
Premium tatkal fare is dynamic too. It keeps on changing.

Tatkal Booking clock
Don't go by Clock at New Delhi Railway Station when You book your Tickets, it Has gone Sick!

Why different timings for AC and Non AC tatkal booking?

Earlier one could logon to at 10 am and purchase a Tatkal ticket of any travel travel class - AC, Non-AC, Sleeper or General Class.  But IRCTC (Indian Railway Online Catering and Tourism Corporation) has observed that there is huge load on their servers at the time when Tatkal booking starts. This causes slowdown and even hanging up of IRCTC online ticket booking site.

Even at railway ticket windows, especially at the premises of railway reservation office, big queues are seen at the opening of Tatkal booking.

Thus, in order to reduce the load on the server, and hence keeping online reservation system continue to work smoothly, Indian Railway and IRCTC has decided to do ticketing in a staggered manner for AC and Non-AC classes.

Agents will need to wait even more

One of the major complaint that a normal railway customer has is that, as and when IRCTC Tatkal booking starts, all available Tatkal tickets are booked within first 5-10 minutes. Ministry of Railway, upon investigation has found that this problem is due to some 'railway booking agents' or 'travel agents' who tended to book tickets before booking actually starts by using some software.

In order to curb these malpractices, it is decided that all agents, including IRCTC agents, won't be allowed to book railway tickets during first half an hour i.e. 30 minutes, when the Tatkal Booking starts on IRCTC.  To put it simply, no agent can now book Tatkal Tickets between 8 am to 8.30 am for general classes, from 10 am to 10.30 am for Tatkal AC classes, and from 11 am to 11.30 am for Tatkal non-AC classes.

Tatkal Scheme and Refund Rules

As per - a railway enquiry website, no refund will be granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/duplicate Tatkal ticket except in certain special cases, like when train is discontinued, or when a train route is changed and passenger is unwilling to take journey, or if schedule is changed.

The Tatkal Charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum as given here.


In the end, just remember that, as per amendment done on June 10, 2015; timings for booking of Tatkal tickets will be staggered for AC & non-AC Classes. For AC class the reservation starts at 1000 hrs on previous day of journey, while for non-AC reservation will start at 1100 hrs on previous day of journey from train originating station. Amended tatkal timings continue to be relevant in year 2016/2017.

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