Exact timings at which tatkal ticket booking starts on IRCTC are as follows:

Travel ClassTime (IST)
AC 10:00 am onward up to time of preparation of train chart.
Non AC 11:00 am onward up to time of preparation of train chart.

These are the latest tatkal booking times (recently updated) and are applicable to tatkal booking done both over internet (using IRCTC) or at Indian Railway reservation counters.

Booking in "Tatkal Quota" starts only one day before the day of train departure from its source (originating station).

Now that you know when tatkal booking opens, lets' now see some of the most important tatkal booking rules.

Seats allotted under tatkal quota is denoted by 'TQ' on railway ticket. The allocation of seats is done only after train chart preparation. The reservation in tatkal coaches is also done on current counters specifically earmarked

The reservation under this scheme can be sought by full fare paying passengers only and no passenger holding concessional ticket may be allowed to avail reservation under this scheme.

While there is no separate tatkal train defined, Indian railway do run 'premium tatkal trains'. The unutilised tatkal quota seats get released to waitlisted passengers.

The facility of name change is not permitted on bookings made under this scheme and you need to provide valid id which will be verified in train during journey. Only one member mentioned on PNR need to mention his ID (ID card type and Number).

ID details of tatkal passenger will also be printed on train chart of railway.

Now that you know when tatkal booking opens and when it closes, it is important that you must be aware of some of the important rules regarding tatkal booking which are discussed below.

tatkal booking time 2019-2020

What is Tatkal Ticket in Indian Railway? 

'Tatkal' means 'this very moment,' and Indian Railways Tatkal  booking scheme is for those people who are looking for immediate reservation. This facility provides confirmed accommodation to the needy passengers on payment of nominal premium on first come first serve basis. It helps genuine passengers to plan their journey at short notice. Only 4 tickets can be booked per PNR in tatkal.

Train ticket booking can be done online on IRCTC. To book tatkal tickets online choose 'tatkal' under quota on booking page.  Get more details on how to do irctc tatkal booking online and indian railway rules related to it.

Tatkal comes extremely handy in case one wants to do train ticket booking in emergency. Mostly 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.

This scheme is used by people to get a confirmed ticket; albeit by paying higher reservation charges than normal. Booking Tatkal costs you more than booking normal railway tickets quota's.

Tatkal Ticket Booking Charges

Charges for tatkal booking are higher than that for normal booking. Extra 30 percent of base fare of journey up to maximum of 500 Indian Rupee is charged per ticket.

Following table sums up tatkal booking charges based on travel class which you choose for undertaking journey. The charges given below are applicable during both peak and non peak hours. Peak hours are when demand is high. Non peak hours are when demand of tickets is less.

# Class Min Charges (INR) Max Charges (INR) Min Distance for charges (kms)
1 2S (Second Sitting) 10 15 100
2 SL (Sleeper) 100 200 500
3 CC (AC Chair Car) 125 225 250
4 3A (AC 3-Tier) 300 400 500
5 2A (AC 2-Tier) 400 500 500
6 EC (Executive Class) 400 500 250

Also the reservation cannot be done well in advance. As pointed out earlier,  you will need to do booking today, if you plan to travel tomorrow.

Seats in tatkal quota generally get booked up very very fast. Hence you need to be rally quick with your booking and timing.

Indian Railway issue Tatkal tickets for actual distance of travel (subject to distance restrictions applicable to train ). What it means? It means that charges are based on actual distance for which reservation is done.

Earlier, before 24 Dec 2015 the tatkal charges were levied for end to end stations. It didn't matter from where you booked ticket from and up to which station, you needed to pay full charges as if you are travelling from starting station of train ( train originating station) to the last station at which that train finished its journey. But this is not the case anymore (after 24 Dec 2015).

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 i.e. booking is not confirmed, or your tatkal quota ticket is  partially confirmed, the amount you get will be as per railway refund rules.

Please note that TDRs (Ticket Depository Receipts) are not issued for waiting list tatkal tickets. When they don't get confirmed you need to claim your refund at the counter by filling up cancellation forms. In case booking is done through internet, the refund is automatically furnished in case of  un confirmed waiting list tatkal tickets.

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 seat availability/ occupancy of seats. Premium tatkal tickets are like tatkal tickets but while tatkal tickets can be booked for mail/express passenger trains and the cost of ticket remains fixed, in case of  premium tatkal tickets the cost of ticket keeps changing with demand. More the demand, more will be the price of premium tatkal tickets. Also no concession is allowed in such tickets. Even children have to get tickets for end to end journey by paying full fare.

Why different timings for AC and Non AC  railway tatkal booking?

Earlier one could login to irctc.co.in at 10 am and purchase a Tatkal ticket of any travel class like: AC, Non-AC, Sleeper or General Class.  But over a period of time, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) observed that sudden rush to book tatkal tickets was putting huge load on their servers resulting in slowdown and hanging up of ticket booking system much to dismay of its customers.

Even at railway ticket windows, especially at the premises of railway reservation office, big queues are seen at the time of 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

In order to curb these malpractices, it is decided that all agents, including IRCTC agents, won't be allowed to book railway tickets  between 10 to 12 am. Also agents are allowed to do booking of only 1 ticket per train under tatkal scheme.

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 known as "magic autofill".

Refund Rules for Tatkal Ticket Cancellation

As per indianrail - a railway enquiry website, no refund will be granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/duplicate Tatkal ticket.

There is exception to this rule. 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.

Need of Tatkal Scheme

You must be wondering - what is the need of tatkal scheme? The thing is, although the reservation can be done in any train 60 days in advance, fact remains that many people don't plan their journey so early. By the time the tour plan is finalized, it is often too late, as such the irctc seat availability status check shows "not available," meaning seats aren't available in the train. Then the question arises - Is there any chance to get a confirmed ticket i.e. a confirmed seat in train? The answer or solution to this problem is "indian railways tatkal ticket booking scheme".

It is recommended that users keep visiting the url http://www.indianrail.gov.in/tatkal_Scheme.html which provides latest updates about the scheme.

What is IRCTC Tatkal Booking Software?

There is no doubt about the fact that the demand of "tatkal tickets" is huge among people. Everyday millions of people open their computers at 10 am with hope to get these tickets. Few lucky ones do get them, while many others are left without tickets. 

Due to small availability of these tickets coupled with huge demand, tatkal tickets are sold out within hours of opening of online ticket booking window. Considering the need for tickets many people have developed software that can emulate the online ticket booking process thus enabling fast booking of tickets. 

The so called "tatkal booking software" is designed so that booking can be done before time. Developers incorporate many tricks into the algorithm which aid in faster booking.

Also time consuming tasks, like entering passenger details are automated using such a software application thereby increasing the chances of successfully booking a railway ticket.

Checking of IRCTC Tatkal Availability

One must note that while the chances of getting confirmed seat in train increases manifold using IRCTC tatkal booking process, it is not a guarantee that you will always get a confirmed ticket.

It is also important to choose the right train. You should choose a train in which there are maximum vacant seats available. This can be easily known by looking at the next 7 days tatkal availability report.

Terms used in this article 

IRCTC: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
Tatkal tickets: Tickets booked under tatkal scheme of Indian Railway.
Tatkal Quota: A special quota of seats earmarked under Tatkal Scheme of Railway.
Tatkal Booking: Process of booking train tickets under Tatkal Scheme.
Waitlisted: Passengers whose train tickets have WL status.in PNR (Passenger Name Record).

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