India, Public Transport, Railways, Stories

A Guide to the New Cancellation & Booking Rules of Indian Railways


The Indian Railways is the backbone of long distance public transport in the country. It carries more than 2 crore passengers each day. In the latest bid to discourage misuse of reserved tickets and optimization of available accommodation in trains, the railways has come up with a new set of cancellation/refund and booking rules.


Indian Railways is the backbone of the long distance public transport system in the country. In 2013-14, a total of 840 crore passengers travelled via the Indian Railways. While crores of people depend on the railways for their movement, many complaints have been received in the past about how the tatkal ticket booking system has been misused. Even the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) has also highlighted many irregularities in the passenger reservation system. In a latest move to curb such misuse, the Indian Railways has come up with a set of new Cancellation/Refund rules along with introducing a new process for charting.

The New Cancellation & Refund Rules

The Ministry of Railways said that the new rules are to help genuine passengers and to plug the scope of misuse of ticketing activity by unscrupulous elements. The new rules have been notified and will come into effect from 12th November, 2015

According to the official statement, the objective of the changes is

  • To plug the scope of misuse.
  • Facilitate passengers with mobile ticketing/proposed paperless ticketing etc.
  • Discourage touts/agents on black marketing of tickets.

The first major change is to enable the UTS (Unreserved Ticketing System) counters in some places to process cancellation requests and issue refunds beyond the working hours of the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters. The UTS counters will double up as the PRS counters and process refunds in case of cancellations. Automatic refund (for tickets booked online) in case of cancellation of trains is also enabled from July this year. Before this, a ticket deposit receipt (TDR) had to be filed for the refund.

Some of the important changes are mentioned in the table below

New India Railway Cancellation charges and refunds

In case of cancellation of unused tatkal tickets, no refund will be granted except in certain cases like when there is a partial confirmation (some passengers have confirmed reservation and some don’t on the same ticket), late running of trains etc.

These rules might help the railways optimally use the seats in various classes since passengers might cancel tickets 4 hours prior to the departure to get the refund. The modified refund time limit of up to half an hour before the scheduled departure of the train for RAC and partially confirmed tickets will also help the passengers a great deal.

The higher cancellation charges might discourage agents/touts who reserve tickets using fictitious names and later sell them at higher prices.

The rules might also help the railways increase the revenue earned through cancellation charges. Cancellation charges are accounted under the head ‘Miscellaneous Coaching Receipts’. The Miscellaneous coaching receipts have been growing continuously. They have grown from 564.72 crore in 2011-12 to 932.99 crore in 2013-14.

Miscellaneous Coaching Receipts India Railways

New Rules for Booking

Along with the new cancellation & refund rules, a new set of booking rules will also come into effect from the 12th November, 2015. These rules follow the changes made in refund rules that allow cancellation (for refund) of confirmed tickets only up to 4 hours prior to the departure of the train. Some of the important features of the new booking system are

First Reservation Chart to be made 4 hours before Departure:  From now on, reservation charts will be made at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. In case the same are not made by the charting section, the system will automatically finalize them 4 hours before the scheduled departure of train(to be effective from 18th November 2015).   This will facilitate passengers to know the status of the ticket to plan their journey well in time.

Booking Counters will again open after the first reservation chart: Immediately after preparation of first reservation charts, the reservation will again become open at the PRS counters as well as on internet (e-ticket) and the passengers can

  • Book the available accommodation in the train in case there is no RAC/waitlist for that leg.
  • In case of passengers holding RAC/waiting list ticket, the passengers will be given facility to cancel the ticket up to 30 minutes before the  scheduled departure of train. This will facilitate the passengers, particularly partially confirmed passengers, to decide either to undertake the journey or to cancel their ticket.

A second (and final) chart of reservations will be made available before departure of train and handed over to onboard ticket checking staff. This exercise is expected to ensure optimum utilization of train accommodation as well as enhanced earnings.

Featured Image: By Bibek2011 [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.


  1. What happens to cases where the e-ticket stays wait listed even after the second reservation chart is generated. In past the railways would automatically credit the refund to the card. It is not clear as to what happens in such cases

    • what if one ticket is confirmed or rac and another passenger is on wt list of same ticket. Will normal cancellation charges applicable if cancellrd after fist list /chart is displayed

    • Sir do u have knowledge about approx seats booked online only each day and no. Of seats cancelled each day….and plz if u can discuss the levels of corruption and inconvenience due to this cancellation system

      • sir.
        If we are group of 5 people booked waitlist ticket from Booking Window, and we reach station to board and find that 2 tkts are RAC/confirmed then what to do ? as a family gents ladies anf children are together, please reply as I am in problem.

    • i have a confirmed ticket for four persons. one has fallen sick prior to five days of journey.can i cancel one ticket out of four and get refund.

      • Aryan bachawat on

        i have a confirmed ticket for five persons. My daughter has exams on the same date of our journey.can i cancel her ticket out of five and get refund.

    • Gilbert Pinto on

      Wait list Tatkal ticket can be cancelled before chart preparation, a small amount ( of ₹ 130 +45 clerk age ) is deducted and balance refunded. Checked on 13/5/2016

  2. What about Tatkal Waitlisted Tickets? Is there a refund if the waitlist does not clear? If yes then do I have to file a TDR or cancel it manually or does it happen automatically?

  3. So if tatkal eticket is wait listed in 1st chart prepared (I.e. 3-4 hr before departure) may be cleared in second chart(I.e. Half hour before departure). It can get confirmed right?

      • This rule is really bad. I need to wait till last minute for confirmation of journey and if I cancel the w/l ticket, railway will deduct 25% of the ticket amount…. really bad. Looting from both hands… chit bhi meri pat bhi meri…

      • Sourabh Kumar on

        Contradictory rules. One kicking the other away; not impressed. Personally think there is a lot of scope for improvisation. How u people make some set of rules affective widout considering the flip sides..
        Indian railway; it is not always about increasing the revenue, please revise this peice of work

  4. my peper ticket is wait listed on frist chart peped after the second chart 30minats befor genrated is also wait listed so my ticket is cancellation is weair new cancellation rulrs befor 30minits no cancellation…..

  5. shailesh mishra on

    I have booked tatkal e ticket.I have got one confirmed while another one is tatkal waiting list 1.If it is not confirmed another person is allowed to board the train or not

  6. What if ticket price for sleeper is 200 then 120 will be deducted or a less amount will be deducted?

      • Sir, I just cancelled 3 separate tickets and Rs. 120 per person got deducted from each ticket. So I originally paid Rs. 900 and got back ONLY Rs. 180 :(. Rs. 120 per person is too much….

        • I booked Sleeper and had all tickets confirmed. Rs. 720 got deducted. One ticket was cancelled within 48 hrs, 2 and 3rd tickets had more than 48 hrs time. I am not getting these rules… its really bad.

  7. jay gupta :- what about internet confirm takal ticket if train is late more then 10 hours, how much amount refund in my account or which procedure to be made by made for refund received agaisgt tatkal tiket.

  8. Inamur Rahman Nashtar on

    Sir I want to know if I have a confirm reserved ticket and departure time is like 24 it possible to change date of journey because railway people are saying it can only be done before 48 hrs.

    • Srinivas Avadhanula on

      I have booked ticket in Navajeevan which is scheduled to chennai at 04.00 P.M. from Khammam. Now the train time was rescheduled and in chennai it arrives at 08.00 P.M. I have to go from Chennai Egmore to Madurai in Nellai Express which was scheduled at 08.10 P.M. So what is the procedure for cancellation of Navajeevan tickets

  9. I missed my train on 22nd Novemeber. Am I entitled to get any refund amount within 30 days of cancelling the ticket. Does this come under TDR? I had booked online tickets for a group; however, I missed the train.
    But then it also says no refund after the above time limit of before 4 hrs of departure?

    • i missed my train on 24th december 2015, i had booked 7 etickets for ahmedabad delhi rajdhani express. do i able to get any refund?

    • anjali
      i cancelled my ticket on 30 august of much refund will i get,i mean to say how much % will be deducted

    • I have a joint e ticket for 6 individuals ,only one passenger ticket is confirmed ,whether other five passengers can board the train or not.

  10. what is the meaning of unused wait listed ticket? How can a wait listed ticket be used in the first place?

  11. “no refund after the above time limit”. —- How can there be a time limit for claiming refund of wait listed tickets? Are we supposed to file TDR for wait listed tickets even though we are not allowed to use them? Should not the money be refunded automatically?

  12. I have booked an tatkal ticket online by selecting the option to book only if my selected lower berth is available but after booking i noticed that ticket has been booked with upper berth. can i cancel my ticket and get my amount refund.

  13. I have booked an e-ticket and its RAWL2. If it doesnt get confirmed will there be automatic refund?

      • ASHA NAND JHA on




  14. i have two RAC Tickit, if both tickits are not confirmed,then can
    I cancell the tickits after the first chart prepared,

  15. Abhinesh Singh on

    Hi, I have booked confirm tatkal ticket for bareilly to lucknow & train has been late more than 10 hours. How can I cancel my ticket? & if I can cancel my ticket, what amount would be deduct?

      • If I file my tatkal ticket when it is in waiting list the full amount will be refunded to my account

      • Dear Rakesh, I have a very bad experience in terms of TDR. 3 time I have filled TDR in my ife and I never get My refund I have followed up with IRCTC over the ail for almost 4 months but they denied saying passenger has travelled. I had given medical document to IRCTC as a proof that passenger has got heart problem and immediately rushed to hospital from railway station also rEASON WAS ( TRAIN WAS LATE MORE THEN 5HOURS) All TC;s are earning money with filing the TDR sheet wrongly.

  16. I mean if I file tdr of my tatakal ticket in waiting list which was not confirmed after the chart prepared the amount will full refunded to my account or I should live without cancelling my ticket for refund

  17. i filed tdr becausr the train is late by 4.34 hours but the refund amount is being shown 0. i am feeling being looted. plz tell me whether i will be refunded total amount(as per norms if train is late by more than 3 hours full amount is refunded) or not????

  18. Sir please clarify my doubt if I file tdr of my tatakal ticket in waiting list which was not confirmed after the chart prepared the amount will full refunded to my account or I should live without cancelling my ticket for refund

    • There is no need to file TDR for waitlisted tickets even after chart preparation. If you have booked tickets online, then the amount will be credited automatically. If you have booked tickets through counters, it has to be cancelled through the counter up to 30 minutes before the departure of the train. If the counters are closed by that time, then you can cancel the same within the first 2 hours of the opening of the counters on the following day.

      • sir for general ticket means we should file tdr
        and takal tickets will be automaticall refunds sir when it was in waiting list

  19. i tried booking tatkal tickets and ticket did not book money got debited still 15 days IRCTC did not refund please help

  20. Sir,
    I had filled TDR not within 4 hour time limitation from Schedule departure of my train as my ticket status shows CNF shall i get the refund ……… for filling the TDR as reason for passenger not travelled.

  21. I book a Ticket from JP to DEE of 23 morning double dcker chart is preapred on 22 night due to some resion i want to cancle my ticket what refund will given

  22. i booked ticket for three persons, now if i want to preponed one person ticket from that can i do it?

  23. Se railway talk reservation before 120 days means almost 4 months before and they utilized that amount for 120 days it’s not one person it’s a thousand, lacs (if we see the interest on that amount very high) & after this they deduct cancellation charges double it’s very wrong so I request pls consider my point & pls do amendment on cancellation charges rules it’s so high.

  24. shashi kumar dixit on

    I want to cancel my ticket dated 26.02.2016 , but the booked history is not shown to my computer.
    it shows there is no record .
    PNR No. is 2213736922.

  25. I missed my train by mere 5 mins. Now the system says TDR cannot be filled after departure of the train. We are 3 passengers and were travelling by Rajdhani. I suffer a loss of ₹9000. It is ridiculous to kearn that i wont be refunded a single penny. The mistake being heavy traffic in Delhi! It is disheartening.
    I understand the reason for the new rules made, but genuine reasons should be considered.

  26. I booked ticket waiting list ticket .waiting list ticket permission to journey train? Pls suggest.

  27. Sir, i missed my express train 17644 on date 8-2-2016 which i reserved from samalkot to chennai. That train will come to vijayawada at 17:50 travelling alround.. But i took another superfast train ratnachal express and this train goes in shortcut directly to vijayawada at 18:30 before that train which i missed.. Can i get my birth again or if even though my reservation is given to another can i stay in that same reservation coach 17644 circar express.can please tell me about this. Thank you.

  28. Hi, This is vinod kumar , i booked a ticket from New delhi to Ujjain on 21-02.2016 by online but the train has been cancelled these day so can this amount refund in my account. Please reply me.

  29. i have booked 4 confirm tickets of kolkata patna garib rath for 15.03.2016 but one person cannot go with us due to his HS practical exam on 16.03.2016 then how can i cancel one ticket please give good suggetion

  30. Rajnish Sharma on

    I have booked one ticket from ADI to DWR and having 1 wait list. After calling 139 they told me that automatically refund will be transfered. So Neither I cancelled my ticket of 3.03.2016. Now unable to cancel or file TDR. Amout will be transfer in my account or not. please help.

  31. kashmira umrigar on

    i have booked a ticket for BVI to GDG on 25-4-16 and it is confirmed. however i realised later that i had wrongly entered the age as 57 instead of 58 for female senior citizen discount.
    is there any way that i can alter the age now and will i get the discount?

  32. Pankaaj Maalde on

    I had booked two tickets for Vikramgadh Alot from Bombay Central on 23rd Feb.2016. The same ticket was not confirmed after preparation of chart and the final status of my tickets was WL 9/10.

    But while refunding the amount Railway has deducted cancellation charges of Rs. 120/- i.e. Rs. 60 per ticket which is not justified.

    The ticket was not cancelled by me and the same was cancelled as there was no seat available after preparation of chart and hence it was automatically stand cancelled. I think cancellation charges should not be applicable for this and railway should refund Rs. 120/- wrongly deducted. What is the remedy.


    How much amount I will get after cancelling a confirmed e-ticket of 12314 / SEALDAH RJDHANI before 72 hours of train departure?

  34. I have booked 6 confirm ticket of my family member for journey, but any reason in which 2 or 3 members are unable to journey then instead of these people another person is able to join us.

    • Laxman Godghate on

      -I booked 4 tickets from IRCTC, 2 is confirmed & 2 is waiting what will occur if 2 WL tickets are not confirmed? The journey will start tommorow from secunderabad at 10.00am
      – Can 2 waitlisted passanger travel on the same PNR. Matter urgent,
      Please clarify

  35. my question might be the dumbest of the lot, but i’d like to know if there’s any way of cancelling a train ticket online, if one doesn’t know when the tickets have been booked for ie without the PNR no. , train number & even date of departure, is it at all possible to cancel a train ticket with the only info being the name of the traveller & her Adhaar card number?

  36. Dr Hemant Datye on

    I am really pissed off at the railways. They used such a crazy wording and syntax that most people are left confused about cancellation process.There are many websites where people are asking questions about cancellation. If railway posts absolutely separately each case with basic separation of E-tickets and i-tickets much of the confusion will be reduced. Why otherwise people are afraid of loosing money all the time? We are such a corrupt society, that there is no rule that makes railway stick to timelines and I have experienced on many times that the first charts are prepared just two hours before the departure of the train and the second chart never comes up for the people to see. So a large section of people run from pillar to post to find out where they are , in confirmed list, RAC or still W/Listed? this top down approach leaves scope for corruption and ineptitude.
    I have a TATKAL waitlisted E-ticket and I still do not clearly know whether I should safely wait till second chart is prepared and after second chart if I still remain in wait-list whether my tatkal W/L E-ticket gets cancelled automatically even after departure of the train as I am waiting for the second chart that may not come up at all. A grave situation indeed. The example given is of Pune.

  37. i booked 2 seats under tatkal quota and the same got confirmed for 19-04-2016 which was supposed to be 18-04-2016, therefore i cancelled it but i got the message that rs 0(zero) will be refunded into my account. Even though i have cancelled the confirmed tatkal ticket 37hrs prior to the departure of the train, i am worried and curious as well to know whether the deducted amount will either get refunded or not.

  38. sir i wanted to know that I have booked 4 tickets under same pnr no and now i want to cancel one of the ticket before 5 days of journey its in rac.. What amount will be refunded??

    • i have a confirmed ticket for four passengers. one is unable to travel five days prior to journey. can i cancel one berth out of four.

  39. we had 2 tickets from Jammu to Ambala of 24-4-16 which could not confirmed till departure. Can these tickets get cancelled after 24-4-16 because when we do not undertaken the journey, tickets cost should be returned after deduction of booking charges.

    • manisha gada on

      what i meant is are these amounts applicable for counter ticktes also or these are for only i- ticket or e- ticket?

  40. Banarasi Lal Agarwal on

    I had booked reservation through credit card in 2014.The tickets were cancelled subsequently. Refund has been credited to Credit card account. The Credit card account is now closed. How to get the refund?

    • Banarasi Lal Agarwal on

      I do not have any reply.That’s why I want to know how to get the refund?

  41. I booked a 2 Tatkal ticket before payment there is avail of ticket after my payment confirm that ticket its in waiting list. Whether i get a amount if my ticket are not confirm. Within Hz many days i get back that amount charged

  42. Dear Sir

    I’ve booked two tickets in tatkal waiting list, out of two one get confirmed and one is still showing w/l ,so if i cancelled both the ticket will i get refung for both tickets????

  43. If train arrive at 11.59 pm and departs at 00.01 am than on which date ticket will be booked ?

    I want to travel on 1 of June, so should I book ticket of 1st or 2nd ?
    Please help.
    Thank you.

  44. mukesh kumar on

    kiya mujhe railway duwara jari chart jismen riservation karate time or yatra ke time eak tikat par yadi 5 parson yatra karte hain to kitno ke pas I D proff honi jaruri hai .

  45. Want to know- is anyone eligible for full refund against tatkal confirmed e reservation, while the train is late by 6/7 hours than its schedule time. How to proceed for such a cancellation, as many times the journey time is only 8 hrs from origination to destination point, while the train is delayed by more than 6 hrs. One has to cover the journey in 14 hrs or more in lieu of 8 hrs, passenger travelling under exigencies may fail to meet them ?

  46. A Gangadhara on

    Hii guys..i had prashanti 3A confirmed tatkal ticket frm Bangalore to vizag on july 2nd 2016
    anybody wants???

    • A Gangadhara on

      A GANGADHAR on JULY 1, 2016 4:23 PM
      Hii guys..i had prashanti 3A confirmed tatkal ticket frm Bangalore to vizag on july 2nd 2016
      anybody wants??? Call me at 09542934178

  47. Pankaj grover on

    Hi guys,I have 3 tatkal confirm tickets of sleeper class from Delhi to Dewas. For dated 10 th of July,
    Anyone interested, please call….9136180695

  48. If I booked 4 tickets from IRCTC
    2 is confirm & 2 is waiting what will occur if 2 WL tickets are not confirmed?
    2 tickets refund will be there?
    & tickets booked by credit card then how I got refund??
    Please clarify

  49. ASHA NAND JHA on

    ASHA NAND JHA on JULY 20, 2016 4:43 PM



  50. maine ek ticket irctc se general kota main book karwai but vaha waiting ticket hai. last tak vaha conferm nahi hui. to kya jab main yatra karunga tab vaha ticket cancel ho jayegi ya main general boggi main yatra kar sakta hun

  51. Tara Chnad Ratawal on

    how much before time of departure of train we can book railway reservation ticket at counter ?

  52. I am travelling with my team. First name printed on ticket is mine. Now I want to cancel my journey but the team will go as per the ticket.
    Please suggest me in this regard. What should I do ?

  53. Sir..Please clear my doubt. I have booked a eticket for 10.10.2016. But due to some emergencynow i have to go earlier..Is it possible for me to change the same ticket to earlier date or some other later date.. instead of cancelling the old eticket.

  54. sir actually i want to know for advance reservation booking confirmation prior to from date of my journey in how many days will the ticket get confirmed..?

  55. Pingback: Tatkal Booking – Easily Available For Emergency Travelers – Viraj Holidays Blog

  56. If my bank account has been closed after getting confirmed ticket through IRCTC debiting the account, on cancellation how I could get the refund amount back?


    what happen if i have a waiting ticket and its will not be confirm
    can i travel on waiting ticket from my mobile

  58. i have missed my train on 23th dec but don’t know if my ticket was confirmed or not as i have booked my ticket on tatkal .Is there a way where i can know whether my ticket was confirm or not. my pnr statues is showing N.A

  59. Dear Sir,
    I have missed my train to Kopargoan from Bangalore Yelanka stn. on 4th January this month. Today is 9th January can I get my refund.
    My ticket was 1 AC which was confirmed.
    Please help me to get my refund if possible I wish to rebook my ticket to Shirdi (Kopargoan)

  60. sir please let me know about cancellation rules for Nagpur Duranto exp. Out of six tickets only one ticket I want to cancel . Can it be possible.

  61. sir Maine 26 Jan ka ticket book kiya tha pr aj PNR status check kiya too train canceld bta rha hai Mai kya Kru mera ticket RAC me hai Mai canel Kru ya automatic ho jayega

  62. chandni kumari on

    My train is cancel at 18-11-16 in new delhi. I filled tdr,but I haven’t get my refund yet . What should I do now ?

  63. I have booked a ticket for 4 persons of my family. But my 10 year child is without any cnf seat/birth as during booking i didn’t select preference of seat/birth. Now what is the procedure to correct it and get a conf seat/birth for him.

  64. Raju Madanala on

    If RAC ticket not being confirmed till destination station then half of the amount should be refunded logically. Because two persons share one berth till destination. Other than that railways should prepare a list of RAC passengers based on the probability of cancellations ex. if it is 05 then RAC list should be less or equal to that number (available statistical data will tell you this) not more than that. Is there any rule by which we can claim for this?
    -Raju Madanala

  65. Trilok Nath Saxena on

    What will happened to the e-ticket when train is late more than 4 hours i.e. train no.12404 Jaipur to Allahabad Express as on today [13.11.2017]? As your server is telling no refund will be given.

  66. A.M.AGNIHOTRI on


  67. Due to.reason want to do cancell one ticket for shirdi….and same sheet I want to booked for others person can u tell me it can be possible