Tatkal tickets are meant for last minute or immediate plans. It is the most sought after mode of booking tickets for train travel. ‘Tatkal’ literally means ‘immediately’. A Tatkal train ticket can be booked by any passenger who wants to travel at short notice. The Tatkal ticketing system was launched by the Indian Railways in 1997. Tatkal tickets are booked through the government website IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation),  or through one’s agent from the rail ticket counters available at railway stations or private ticket booking counters.

However, the easiest way to book Tatkal tickets is online through IRCTC, the e-ticket booking website of Indian Railways. The passengers have to pay Tatkal ticket charges for bookings under this facility. The booking window for tatkal tickets opens at least 24 hours before the date of travel. If you are planning for a Tatkal E-ticket then you should know that it can be booked for select trains one day in advance excluding date of journey from the train originating station.

It is always advisable to first check ticket availability under the general quota before opting for the Tatkal/Premium Tatkal options. Tatkal train tickets come with payment of premium charges to normal ticket booking making it expensive than the normal train tickets. Tatkal train tickets (IRCTC Tatkal Bookings) are issued for actual distance of travel, instead of end-to-end, subject to the distance restriction applicable to the train.

Tatkal Train Ticket: Rules

  • As per the rules set-up by IRCTC, a maximum of only four passengers per PNR can be booked for Tatkal tickets.
  • As per the information available on the Indian Railways website, 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.

  • Cancellation Rules:
    • If the train is to run on diverted route and boarding station or the destination or both the stations are not on the diverted route, then the train can be canceled.
    • In the case of non-attachment of a coach in which Tatkal accommodation has been earmarked and the passenger has not been provided accommodation in the same class.
    • If the party has been accommodated in the lower class and does not want to travel. In case the party travels in the lower class, the passenger will be given a refund of difference of fare and also the difference of Tatkal charges, if any.
    • If the train is delayed by more than three hours at the journey originating point of the passenger and not the boarding point if the passenger’s journey originating point and boarding point are different.

Ticket agents or web agents of IRCTC are restricted from booking Tatkal tickets between 10: am and 12:00 pm. Under Tatkal tickets, only four passengers can be booked on one PNR (passenger name record) number unlike six passengers in case of normal train ticket.

Tatkal Train Ticket: Charges

    • For Reserve Second Sitting (2S) Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 10 and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 15.
    • For Sleeper Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 10o and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 200.
    • For AC Chair Car Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 125 and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 225.
    • For AC 3 Tier Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 30o and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 400.
    • For AC 2 Tier Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 40o and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 500.
    • For Executive Class – Minimum Tatkal Charges is Rs 40o and Maximum Tatkal Charges is Rs 500.