Tatkal train tickets are not a new Affair to any Traveller who travels frequently by Indian Railways. These are the most hard-fought train tickets currently in the world in which you either have to stand in a queue for hours and hours or might bet on your luck for the first couple of minutes while booking it through IRCTC website.
Even if you know how tatkal tickets are booked still sometimes there can be confusion in timings of tatkal ticket or number of seats available in Tatkal quota so here is a quick wrap up of tatkal tickets that always remain on high demand in Indian Railways.
For those who may not know tatkal ticket booking facility was first introduced in year 1997. However, in those days this facility was only available in few trains. Later when railway came up with the online ticket booking facility it decided to extend tatkal ticket booking facility in all passenger trains. Also Indian Railways were aiming financial benefit through tatkal tickets as they carry premium over the normal fare.
As we know that bulk of tatkal tickets is booked within few minutes the moment time window opens everyday. To book a fatal ticket a passenger has to wait for hours in a queue before he or she has to shell out extra money to grab these tickets that before 24 hours from the scheduled departure time of the train. But if a passenger wants to book a tatkal ticket via an agent then not only he or she has to shell out extra money to get that ticket but also more money is required as an agent fees.
It must be noted that if you want to claim any kind of concession then it is strictly unavailable on tatkal quota. The worst part of it is that tatkal bookings are not allowed in AC first class. Everyday tatkal ticket bookings open at sharp 10 a.m. for AC coaches and for sleeper class coaches it opens at 11 a.m. Apart from first season it is relatively easy to grab tatkal ticket of a non AC coach as number of seats are way high then compared to AC coaches.
Indian Railways has fixed tatkal charges which are 10% of basic fare for 2nd class coach and 30% of base fare for all other classes. Note that despite fixing the fare, minimum and maximum charges can vary from coach to coach.
Normally a second sitting coach attracts a minimum tatkal charge of rupees 10 and maximum 15 for a minimum distance of 100 KM where as sleeper class coach is levied with a minimum tatkal charge of rupees hundred and a maximum of rupees 200 for a minimum distance of 500 km.
In case of AC 3rd class the minimum charge is 300 and in AC second class the minimum charges rupees 400 for a minimum distance of 500 km. The charge of Executive coach is similar to that of AC second class coach while AC chair car coach is levied with a minimum charge of 125 and a maximum of 225 for a minimum distance of 250 km.
After many alterations in cancelling rules of a tatkal train ticket now no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed tatkal tickets. However if a passenger gers RAC tatkal ticket or a waitlisted tatkal ticket the passenger can cancel his or her ticket prior to 30 minutes the departure of train. In that case almost full amount is refunded by Indian Railways. The catch is if the ticket gets confirmed by that time railway will treat that ticket as a confirm ticket therefore again it cannot be cancelled.
The only window to cancel confirm tatkal ticket is that if a train is running by more than 3 hours or in worst case scenario is cancelled then a passenger can file a ticket deposit receipt with a reason to claim refund online.
Also there are some more rules that are being laid out by Indian Railways on it's IRCTC website for tatkal refund. Some of these rules are as follows-
If train runs on diverted route and on the new route the destination station or the boarding station are not listed then a passenger can claim refund.
If by any chance it happens that passenger has not been provided accommodation in the class which he or she booked during the time of reservation the passenger can claim the recent also if any how the party has been accommodated in lower class and does not want to travel in that class refunds can be claimed.
Recently Railway has introduced e-pay later option for tatkal ticket. This option is also valid on general quota tickets. By using this option a passenger can book tickets without paying instantly. The passenger can pay later for the booked tickets. Opting this option allows passenger to make the payment in up to 14 days, however, the passenger has to pay 3.50% test charges to avail the facility.