The Indian Railway administration reserves seats, berths, compartments, or carriage in accordance with the rules and conditions published in the coaching tariff. A passenger seeking reservation of berths or seats can purchase tickets from the railway reservation offices, authorised travel agency or book directly from Indian Railways e-ticketing arm, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation). Advance reservations can made generally up to 120 days in advance for all classes and all trains. The period of advance reservation (ARP) is exclusive of the day of departure of the train, said Indian Railways on it’s portal- indianrail.gov.in.
Key things to know about Indian Railways ticket reservation facilities:
1. Passengers with confirmed reservation are allotted berths at the time of booking and the coach and berth numbers are indicated on the ticket itself, except in case of first class coaches. The compartment/cabin/coupe numbers for the first class are allotted at the time of chart preparation.
2. The passengers whose names figure under RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation), are provided reserved sitting accommodation initially and are likely to get berths becoming vacant due to last minutes cancellation of reservation of passengers not turning up in time before the departure of the train.
3. The requests for reservation at the reservation counters are accepted up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, after which, the reservation is done at the current counters at the stations up to one hour before the scheduled departure of the train and thereafter by the ticket collector/conductor on the platform, if vacant berths/seats are available, said Indian Railways.
4. If a passenger, for whom a berth or seat has been reserved, does not turn up 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train, the Railway Administration may cancel the accommodation reserved for him and allot it to the passenger on the RAC list/Waiting list accordingly on priority.
5. If a passenger desires to occupy reserved accommodation from any station en-route, he/she can entrain at any intermediate station he chooses irrespective of the distance from the starting station. This change of boarding station facility is also available online via IRCTC’s official website- irctc.co.in.