Tatkal reservation was started by Indian Railways as a special service for passengers who need to travel urgently. Generally passengers have to book their tickets much in advance from the date of journey in order to get a reserved ticket. Tatkal reservation can be done a day before the date of travel and almost every train has a separate IRCTC Tatkal quota for which the Indian Railways charges a premium from the passengers. You should be full knowledge about Tatkal reservation rules so that you can avoid making a mistake. Some of the important Tatkal reservation rules are as follows:
- The advance registration period for an IRCTC Tatkal ticket is one day, which excludes the date of the journey. For example, if the passenger boards the train on the 2nd of a month and reaches the destination on 3rd, the Tatkal reservation for the same can be done on 1st of that month. Earlier the advance registration period was two days but was reduced to a day following some changes in the Tatkal reservation rules last year.
- Tatkal reservation can only be done after 8:00AM, a day before the day of journey. Trying to book the ticket before that would result in an error.
- In case you are making a Tatkal reservation through the railway reservation counter, the person booking the ticket would need to provide a self attested photo copy of one of the eight photo identity cards accepted as an identity proof by the Indian Railways. The same person would have to produce the identity card in original on demand by the travel ticket examiner during the journey.
- Tatkal tickets can be cancelled but the fare deposited will not be refunded except under special circumstances. Special circumstance include the train being delayed by more than 3 hours from the journey originating point or the train being diverted through a different route and the passenger not willing to travel. In case the passenger is accommodated in a lower class than the class he booked because of non attachment of the coach earmarked for Tatkal tickets, the passenger would be entitled to be refunded the difference between the fare of the tickets in case the passenger chooses to travel and a complete fare refund in case the passenger is not willing to travel.
- Every train has a fixed Tatkal reservation quota and Tatkal reservations can only be made through that quota. No more Tatkal reservations can be made after all the tickets from the quota have been booked. However, IRCTC Tatkal tickets if remain unutilized would be transferred to the general quota and would be allotted to passengers with an RAC (Reservation against cancellation) ticket
- IRCTC agents cannot make Tatkal reservation from the railway reservation counter and the IRCTC website between 8AM and 9AM. Quick book feature and Cash card booking feature are also disabled during the same time interval. These steps ensure that the general population gets the tickets and they are not misused by agents or tout who then sell those tickets for a much higher price than usual.
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