IRCTC Tatkaal Ticket Booking tricks

Indian Railways provides to book tatkal tickets, which is booked online via IRCTC or offline directly from reservation counter. We all know now a days, booking a tatkal ticket successfully is like winning a battle. So here are some tips and tricks to book tatkal ticket online. It doesn’t guarranty to get your ticket, but increases the chance for the same.Tatkal Tickets can be booked one day prior to the journey. Sometimes the tatkal advanced reservation period (ARP) may be 2 days instead of 1 day because it is calculated from originating station departure time. So first find out the originating time of your train.


I recommend you to have a trial one day before the booking date, so that you can have overall idea regarding at what time exactly the tatkal quota is being booked totally. For example if you want to book IRCTC ticket on 6th Feb, then log in on 5th Feb 10 AM to check details. Of course this will be applicable only for daily trains. If any train tatkal quota is totally booked at sharp 10:05 AM then technically it is not possible to book ticket via IRCTC. Because by the time you select class and click on Book link and going through all the subsequent pages, the time will be already 5 minutes over. Moreover the website becomes dead slow after 10 AM, no matter even you are having very high speed net connection. So you will end up booking wait listed ticket even though confirmed seat is available at the time of clicking Book link. In this case I suggest not to depend upon IRCTC for this. Instead go to reservation counter in the early morning and be the first person in the queue when the tatkal counter opens. For this you also need to visit once one day before to check the length of the queue and timing by which people reach at the counter. This is the only way of booking tatkal ticket successfully.

[alert style=”dark”]If the tickets are still available up to 10:15 AM then the below tips may be useful for successful ticket booking via IRCTC.[/alert]

For example : You need the tatkal ticket from New Delhi to Mumbai Central on 7th Feb 2013. For this you need to book the ticket on 6th Feb at 10AM. Keep ready a notepad or any text editor, where you will write necessary information like the station codes for those two stations, voter id or any other ID proof details, names of all passengers so that you will copy paste them when necessary.

Start at around 9.50AM :

Fill the From, To , Date and Ticket Type. But choose General as Quota and find trains. While entering the station names, I recommend you to type corresponding station codes i.e from NDLS to BCT in stead of station names so that you need not to wait for the auto suggestion menu to click on the Find Trains button.

Please note that you should not choose Tatkal Quota for now, because, you won’t be able to book tatkal ticket before 10AM. Find trains. Don’t click anywhere unless until the page loads properly.

Then from the list of train, choose the one you want and click on Book button. Don’t worry we are not going to book it now, just making some preparation for our tatkal war :)

In the next page Enter the details of the passengers. You may use Master List to add them from “Select Passengers from your Master List” link.

After that Enter the verification / captcha code and press the Go button. While filling the captcha code make sure to enter the characters in Capital / Block letters as those are case sensitive. Now you will see the confirmation screen with a make payment button.

STOP here and take a break.

All these steps you should finish by maximum 9.59AM. If you finished earlier, try to keep the session active by performing some activities. Otherwise session will get expired and you have to log in again for booking tickets.

At sharp 10AM restart the step but this time choose tatkal as quota and make the actual booking. This time you will find all the forms and text boxes pre-filled so you won’t ever waste time to fill them.

Sometimes you may get the page like Service Unavailable. Just refresh the page, the problem will be solved. So just try clicking refresh button couple of times, and 90% of the time you will get back to the page where you left in 2 -3 try.

Don’t click on any option unless the page is fully loaded. Many people in hurry will try to click on the payment gateway bank during page loading itself. Later you cannot proceed further and not even able to click on the same gateway option because the system thinks that the gateway is already selected. You can do nothing at this stage. The only option left is to log in again and start from the scratch. So wait still the page is fully loaded.

Be familiar with the captcha image by having a trail. Since it is always in capital letter, you can turn Caps Lock on when entering this field.

While entering source and destination stations, it’s always recommended to enter station codes instead of full station name for quicker booking. So keep your source and destination station codes handy and if possible remember them.

Booking can be possible via Plan My Travel link only because Quick Book is not allowed from 10.00AM to 12.00PM.
If your payment is via ATM card then keep your card number and name already stored in a notepad file and just copy paste them. By this way some time can be saved. I think booking via net banking account is quick as compared to ATM payment.

If you are paying via Net Banking then, you may need to enter one time password (OTP)/high security password sent to your mobile for added security at the time of transaction. This may further lead to some delay. Just check whether any option is available to disable this feature for just IRCTC booking. SBI net banking customers are now having an option to disable one time password sent to their mobile for merchant payments. So make use of this facility for quick booking. Don’t forget to enable OTP again after IRCTC ticket booking because this provides some security to our banking transactions.

But at any point of time, if session expired page comes, then no other go, you need to log in again to proceed from first. If you can manage then you may keep open IRCTC site in 2 or 3 different browsers with logged in from different ids so that if your session gets expired then you may resume your booking from another login. You may also check the availability of tickets from side by side so that it won’t happen with you that you are going to payment page and it shows booking status goes to waiting list.

In case, the captcha isn’t visible, just be cool and select for new captcha once the option comes in. Again make sure, you don’t close the window without giving a try.

When you finished with your bank process, please make sure that you are reverted back to the IRCTC page again. Don’t close the window or refresh in the middle. Unless and until if your transaction fails, don’t interrupt the process.

Before you start booking take care of the following things.

  1. Check only time from IRCTC not your personal clock, else you can match it with the time of IRCTC
  2.  In a notepad, save all the details like stations codes (no need of station names), passenger details, Credit / Debit card details etc.