The amount of money you get when you cancel your railway ticket (either offline or online) is called railway refund. How much refund you get from Indian Railway, and how much cancellation charges railway will levy, broadly depends upon railway refund policy, which takes into account following three factors before returning your amount:

  1. Have you already traveled on train ticket or not traveled?
  2. Time at which ticket is presented for cancellation.
  3. PNR status of train ticket at the time of cancellation.
In most circumstances your refund amount will be lesser than what you actually payed for your ticket booking. Also if cancellation of train tickets is being done online, extra charges will be levied by IRCTC (see latest irctc cancellation charges).

Indian railway cancellation charges

Cancellation Amount and Refund

You can easily calculate the amount you get on railway ticket cancellation. First see your ticket and decide if it is a unreserved ticket (no seat and coach allocated) or a reserved ticket (in which seat and coach is allocated). Once decided follow the amount to be deducted as per railway refund rules, below.

Refund on General / Unreserved Tickets Cancellation

Untraveled Tickets: Rs 10 will be deducted from the amount you paid at  the time of purchasing your railway ticket and rest of the amount will be refunded at the counter itself. This is also applicable for all tickets which are valid for that day. You need to submit your ticket within 3 hrs after train departure from the station where you bought the tickets. In case of day tickets (tickets valid for any passenger train that goes to your destination) you should submit your ticket within 3 hrs of  departure last train that is available to your destination station.

Traveled Tickets : If you have traveled already, than also you can get refund provided you haven't traveled more than 100 kms. To get refund in this case, get ticket depository receipt (TDR) from the intermediate station where you terminated your journey and apply for refund within 24 hrs. Railway will deduct fare for the portion you already traveled plus 10 percent on fare of untraveled portion.

Refund on Reserved Train Tickets Cancellation

Untraveled/ Unused Reserved Train Tickets:

When submitted for cancellation more than 1 day in advance (excluding date of journey) the amount you get as a refund for cancelling such tickets will be your ticket fare minus cancellation charges. 

Cancellation charges are:
  • Rs 50 for AC 1/ Executive class 
  • Rs 30 for AC 2 tier/ AC 3 tier/ AC Chair Cra/ First Class
  • Rs 20 for Sleeper Class (SL)
  • RS 10 for Second Sitting/ Second class (2S)
If reserved ticket is submitted 1 day in advance and  before 4 hrs of scheduled departure time of your train, following cancellation charges are applicable:
  • 1/4 th amount will be deducted from the fare paid and rest of the amount is refunded to you.
Lastly, if you go to Indian Railways reservation cancellation counter and less than 4 hrs is left for the scheduled departure of the train  railway will deduct  1/2 i.e. half of the amount and return rest as refund. 

Traveled/ Used Reserved Tickets : Suppose your ticket was confirmed but you have terminated your journey at intermediate station. You can claim refund in such cases for the untraveled portion of you journey. In  this case railway will deduct 50 percent of fare of untraveled portion plus fare for the distance you already traveled. Here important thing is that your original destination must be more than 100 kms from the station at which you decided to terminate your journey (for whatever reason).

special case: If you are travelling by Rajdhani Express or Shatabdi Express or any train where break of journey is not allowed, no refund will be granted in case you have already traveled.

Refund on Cancellation of RAC/ Wait List Train Tickets

Unused/ Untraveled RAC/Waiting list tickets:

If at the time of ticket cancellation, the PNR status (see pnr status codes of indian railway) of your train ticket is either RAC or WL  railway will deduct flat Rs 10 and refund the rest of the amount on cancellation of such tickets. Here keep in mind that :
  • if you destination is less than 201 km you should cancel you ticket within 3 hrs of actual departure time of the train.
  • If destination is between 201-500 km, time limit for getting cancellation refund is 6 hrs. 
  • For distance larger than this you get 12 hrs for claiming refund.
Used/ Traveled RAC/ Waiting list tickets: Since you cannot board the train when PNR status is WL (waiting list), you can only cancel such tickets when they are confirmed. In such case refund rules for travel/used confirmed ticket (as mentioned above) will be applicable.

Refund on Cancellation of Partially Confirmed Tickets

  • If first lap of journey is confirmed and ticket is unused (means you haven't boarded the train yet), than cancellation charges applicable will be same as on cancellation of unused reserved tickets.
  • If first lap of journey is RAC/ WL, Rs 10 will be deducted subject to time when you apply for claiming refund from railway.

Special Railway Refund Cases

Here were present couple of special cases under which you get partial refunds.

Refund if AC didn't work: Suppose you were traveling by a train, and in between AC stopped working. This is clearly not done and you should get some refund as the service you paid for is not delivered properly. 

Can I claim refund if AC in train doesn't work?  Ans. Yes.

Ask from ticket collector TTE of you coach to give you certificate and produce it along with your train ticket with 24 hrs you reach your destination. Railway will refund you the amount for the distance for which air conditioning didn't work.

The refund amount shall depend upon the class of travel:
  • AC 1/ Executive Class: Difference of amount between respective AC class fare and fare for normal First Class will be refunded to you.
  • AC 2 tier/ AC 3 tier: Difference if fare of you class and sleeper class fare of your train for the distance AC didn't work will be refunded.
  • AC Chair Car: Amount to be refunded will the difference between fair of your class and 2nd class fare for the portion of journey AC could't start.
Refund due to Travel in Lower Class: Suppose you booked your train ticket for a higher class but traveled in lower class due to want of accommodation, you can claim for refund. Railway will pay back the difference of fare applicable to higher class and lower class. Don't forget to collect certificate from TTE stating the fact that you traveled in a lower class than what you paid for at time of booking your railway ticket.  Present this certificate at railway counter within 20 hrs of arrival of train at destination station.

No refund Case

There are certain circumstances in which you won't get any refund on train ticket cancellation:
  • No refund is granted in case of confirmed tatkal ticket.
  • Zero refund in case ticket is stolen.
  • Your ticket is mutilated/torn apart - No refund if authenticity of ticket is not established. In case authenticity of train can be established (if ticket number and date of journey is still visible) than some amount will be refunded after deducting cancellation charges. You can also ask for duplicate ticket in such case.

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