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