Try logging in between 7:50 AM and 8.30/9 AM on the Indian Railways booking site

And you wont get a login …

If you miraculously do after waiting for 5 minutes .. the maze of errors will soon take over and booking will be impossible.

The site will be totally jammed and/or you will get an error that says

Online Reservation Error

The page cannot be found or

HTTP Error 404 – File or directory not found or

Service Unavailable or

Sorry, Connection Problems Please try again-200.

This is the classic tatkal scam where agents and booking officers act in cohorts and  jam the site vide bulk/ multiple logins , illegally procured software and manual intervention.

A mere visit to the IRCTC site will show how crappy, buggy, poor  its design is.

Remember Train tickets are cheap, a lot cheaper than bus tickets. Demand outstrips supply, and ratio gets skewed during season time.

The only chance of getting a booking is post 10 am , ie when the agents have got their fill of tickets. Trust me, a computer geek, with a typing speed of say at least 30,  ive tried it on multiple occasions with a high speed net connection, and nothing has worked.

TIPS and Tricks :

Tatkal is a war, and u got to be prepared. Time is precious and every nanosecond counts. Be very well prepared

For the Layman :  1. Sync time with IRCTC ,

2.  Backup everything, so u dont waste time searching

A)  backup station codes , eg MUMBAI CENTRAL (BCT) , MUMBAI CST (CSTM)

B ) Backup all essential details like name etc and use copy paste if system allows it.

For Geeks 2. Use the Firebug hack in firefox 3. Use form fillers if allowed .

Always save profiles in quick book, and make best use of every nanosecond !

Physical Booking :

Hate to say this : There is no guarantee that you will get tatkal ticket even if u wait overnight.

Find a counter or a city or a booking counter at a place which is less crowded. Be prepared with survival needs like water and food, having a senior citizen with you is a big bonus.  I hate bribery but it works because the whole system is geared towards it !

Touts and agents can easily muscle in on the tatkal line or use the backdoor by bribing the railways police RPF and booking staff.It all comes down to setting up each persons cut from the bribe booty. We all know that since Indira Gandhi’s times of shortage license permit raj, Corruption is the most organized business in India.  Read this and this  and this …

Tatkal and Indianrail  Systemic Faults

1. Politicians decide everything and land up messing the system with populist policies.  Railways land up earning nothing but demi gods like booking officers and clerks,  agents, chart preparers , and even the Guards at booking offices milk the system and become lakhpatis and crorepatis.  Instead of focusing on Cheapest fare, Govt should improve service standards, give better toilets, connectivity to stations, facility for senior citizens etc even providing trolleys for baggage on deposit basis is a big plus.

People end up paying 10 times the ticket fair for such conveniences .

Due to the lack of transparency and multitude of quotas there is always a potential for a massive ghotala or scam! especially during peak season when the demand outstrips supply at least by 10 times, and the tatkal line for tickets starts forming at 6/7 am or even overnite at places like VT/CST and Mumbai Central.

2. Ticket prices are artificially low and politically controlled and there is massive demand and heavily mismatch especially during season.. Focus should be on augmenting capacity or increasingly making operations flexible.

3. The Indian railways is a giant bureaucracy and is neither efficient nor flexible enough to augment supply in times of need. Also the centralized system means that tickets can be booked anywhere and things can be manipulated at smaller booking centres by touts and rail ticket issuers, who can then mail / courier / angadia them to cities where there is massive migrant demand. The Chart preparer  is god, in peak rush times , he definitely has potential to mint money!

There is a huge potential for the staff from top to bottom in the Rail Ministry and IRCTC to get a cut, especially considering the fact that there is no accountability or sacking of staff for misdeeds when one is in govt service. They do show that they are acting for a few days especially if media exposes it but then it is business as usual once things cool down.

4. Tatkal rules should require A. Original Photo id of traveller and close relative who should personally book the ticket. B. Give reason for urgency and laying down broad parameters for  choosing the beneficiary C. Booking only at source city. D. Transparency on how each tatkal ticket has been issued .

5. Strict Checking of IDs should be done in the trains and people travelling on proxy tickets should be expelled.

The Indiarail site has gone to the dogs. Every search you make on Indianrail site opens multiple banner adds in ur browser.

The 139 PNR enq number gives adds and is frequently out of service, and mind u this is not a free service.

Issues with IRCTC

Both the Indianrail and IRCTC sites  are horrible in comparison with Indiarailinfo.

The site is a monopoly ticket issuer, naturally it is  terribly slow, badly designed, and has been hacked/ manipulated by the touts and agents in sync with booking agents maybe even higher ups as tickets are sold in black to people.

The system of issuing logins are weak and so are the rules. It does not demand any documentary proof while giving a new login or restrict the no of tickets one can issue per per person  per day to say 3 and per month to say 25 , and worse anyone can book for anyone and therein lies the potential for manipulation.

CAG on India Rail and IRCTC

In a report, the CAG maintained that there were irregularities in ticket bookings before and beyond business hours. All tatkal quota tickets were booked within a few minutes of the opening of reservation.

The CAG said the system was susceptible to being abused by booking clerks, agents and touts through manual intervention in the system, stressing that the general application controls in the system as well as in the internet bookings related to tatkal and advance bookings were inadequate.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) server would hang for four to five minutes, as soon as it opened at 8 a.m., denying access to the general public who wished to book tatkal and advance tickets. And by the time the server became accessible, the tickets would be sold out, it said.

This has been going on for years and the Rail ministry has done nothing about it. ..

Now for Direct booking and rail ticketing system

Read  Indian Railways Ticketing Scam   for why it is impossible to get a reserved rail ticket during season nowadays.

TOI has used my post without crediting me ! Read IRCTC ticket booking: Cheat codes to win ‘great ticket battle’

I wonder if the aam admi loving Rail minister can manage to login or even book a ticket on the IRCTC Site between 8 and 8.15.

TATKAL RULES have changed: click here for more

From Dec 1 For Reservation booking one is required to carry id proof of traveler read: Now, show ID-card while booking train ticket

23 thoughts on “IRCTC Tatkal SCAM

  1. Its happening again!!!!the site was smooth for last 6-8 months but the devil is back gain from last 1-2 week,and the same message service unavailable is flashing on the screen breaking all hopes of common man and they have even hacked the CAPTCHA so that after getting all one cannot be able to book the ticket.I am a regular user but now its harder for me to get a confirmed ticket..What can we expect from a Class 12th pass out Railway minister,he is too looting the money shame on these people..Indian rail sucks<<<

    1. i lost my money through what should i do now?
      is there any refund system available in this website?

  2. we all know this bitter truth but what’s the way out of it ? Railway minister is from kolkata and has nothing to care about the people from other parts of india and during election he will promise some new trians to kolkata and will get elected again and this will continue………

    1. For a very long time this has been going on, the problem is in the system , and in the skewed demand and supply situation, and the fact that corrupt officials are never sacked , but are middlemen who give a cut of illegal gains to their political bosses.

      India needs bureaucratic accountability and sackability
      and a presidential system to remedy this,
      and until that regional cheftains like mamata di will blackmail

      1. I don’t know about a presidential system. What I know will work is local self-governance. It will empower people at the grassroots level.

  3. This fraud has been going on for the past 4 years and nothing is being done which clrearly points at the Railway ministries’s fraud. We need a law like Janlokpal to stop this fraud as the present system is totally corrupt headed by corrupt queen Sonia.

  4. Last three days I have been trying to get ticket for “Prashanthi Express” under Tatkal scheme. And unbelievably everyday, be it online or at Reservation Counter, the availability status of Tatkal for this train is coming a WL15 immediately after the start (i.e @ 8:01AM), where as when the same status is checked @ 7:55AM the availability status is 46 Berths.
    Practically it is next to impossible for all the 46 Berths to booked in 1 minutes after the opening of the Counter(allowing Tatkal booking via as well), all three consecutive days, i.e., 20 May for 21 May, 21 May for 22 May train & 22 May for 23 May train.

  5. I am the latest and recent sufferer. I booked 3 tickets on 17th of march for journey date of 17th may from Delhi to bhubaneswar. Every year I take my family to home in summer vacation. I got wait list ticket of 8,9,10 as status at the time of booking. It was in RAJDHANI 2nd AC.

    On the day of 17th may, to my horror the tickets could not get confirmed. We were shattered. From 18th may till 21st may I tried to book tatkal every morning. I could not even get into the site!!! This was disgusting. In such a developing country we are, if a family can not be given a chance to plan before 2 months then what shit are we talking about?? And what is this online tatkal Ticket business?? It’s a shame

    1. 2.5 years later since this comment and not a single thing has changed. The tatkal booking system was always a scam from the get go. The common man can never get a tatkal ticket online to save his life. You can have a 100mbps connection and you’ll still not get a ticket because the odds are simply stacked too high against the common man.

      What’s worse is that these days even general tickets whose booking opens 60 days in advance also get sold out within 24-48 hours. How is this even possible? I booked a ticket to NJP 12 hours after booking officially opened and got waitlisted to 68th position. 60 days later on the day of the journey, my ticket never got confirmed. WTF? Is there any doubt that this is the work of touts? They book all the tickets in advance and sell at double the price later on. Of course they are in collusion with Railways booking clerks who manipulate the passenger name on tickets once they are sold by agents.

      This is India for you and this is how we are paying the price of overpopulation and corruption.

  6. there is no doubt that a site which used to function well suddenly becomes inconsistent with faults. and that too for a long time. Shameless raliways…

  7. Agents take Rs.1000/- extra and they guarantee a tatkal ticket. While we are unable to even login to irctc. Even after I am able to manage 1 login finally after 12 minutes on a 1MBPS dedicated connection, by that time tatkal quote is finished. This was the case last month for 5 days and today for the 7th day. After giving up on tatkal, today I will have to go and catch an agent to get the ticketing done. It is an emergency. What else can I do?

    One agent said that they pay Rs.6 Lakhs per month to the railway to give us this kind of guaranteed facility! And yes, they do deliver no matter what.

    It is not that trains are running empty and railway has no income to upgrade their server. I think railway is purposely not upgrading their server simply so that we general people do not get the tatkal facility and are then forced to go to agents. The more we use the agents, the more the railway staff is assured of their own black money income.

    I mean, how much money does it afterall takes to upgrade their server just to meet the tatkal rush???? In my calculation it takes 20 seconds on an average day for irctc to earn that much money by which they could super-upgrade their own servers once every week of the month!

    Dear railway minister, on you own using whatever best of technology that you have, pls try logging in to irctc between 7:55am to 8:30 am. If for any inter metro train you can log in and can reach the payment option in 1 single try, then I, and my 3 best friends will become your free personal slave for 1 month.

  8. My father got a heart attack. We have to arrange money for bypass surgery or plastic stand. We have no money on the spot. Doctor asked to arrange money. But for money, my mother must go to home to withdrawn her fixed deposit. For all that, I visited to book the tatkal ticket. But server no found error encountered and worked when all the tickets were booked. Then think, who will responsible if there is anything happen with my father and family, its all shamed on Indian Railway administrations. May god punished all of them who is responsible for this…

  9. Yes, now again entered devils. site not responding properly between 8.00 AM to 8.30 AM, If open in between by chance but there is no tatkal tickets, its status WL. Indin Railway should notice this fraud and need to take serious action.

  10. I recently happened to travel to Varanasi and tried for 2-3 days hopelessly to book my e-ticket on Patna-Secunderabad which runs daily. To my astonishment there always were 168 sleeper, 30 III AC and 6 II AC berths vacant daily before 8am but these would become full by 8.15-8.20am while I was still trying hard to access the site. This is my experience not only at Varanasi but from different locations i.e. Nagpur, Agra and Bhopal for diffrent trains during past 10 days of travel.

    The unauthorized touts/agents at Varanasi (the age old city of notorious “Benarasi THUGS” charge as much as double the amount of normal ticket price for any class. Hence since the sleeper ticket was Rs.360/- I had to shell out Rs.1100/-. Even then the counter ticket issued to me after boarding the train was fake since despite giving my photo id to the agent the ticket was issue in a different name as per the chart.

    If one calculated the amount of money involved in this SCAM it shall work out to be at least Rs.72,000/- crore pa (calculated @1000 passengers per train in 9000 trains that run daily on different routes in the country) that is being pocketed by agents in open collusion with railway booking clerks/supervisors/rpf personnel and may be the division head as well as concerned ministers.

    I would urge all readers of this site to vent out their experiences, share with everybody and initiate a PIL in relevant court.

  11. scam… scam… scam… everywhere… wakeup india..

    i have tried for 40mins from 10am..

    i was seeing 154 available, 112, 64, 44, 23, 10, WL3.. all these time.. it went till ‘Make MyPayment’… It gives an error-200..

    our contry politician qualification is rowdyism.. guess what will happen when my kids trying for train ticket.. it will say.. contact local agent so and so.. and pay 3 times of your ticket..

  12. Past three days trying to get the tatakal tickets and been getting infamour Err-200
    also been told Multiple Logins when I am only logged in once

  13. This is useless site in the world, waste of time and money, this is simply fraud site,
    we have to tell Arvind Bhai Kejriwal, rest he will take care of this fraud.

    does someone want to go to mars ? india is really progressing man .

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