Nuts & Bolts of online registration for railway ticket booking.

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#1 Nov 21st, 2005, 13:27
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  • beach is offline
#1
This is in response to a lot of members expressing frustration & difficulty in getting through the online registration at the Indian railway’s site (www.irctc.co.in)

The Registration (which is free) is a pre requisite to make you an online booking of the railway ticket.

There are many options of booking ‘electronically’. For example you can book by Internet or mobile phone (by SMS) and pay by Credit cards (Example: MASTER / VISA / DINERS CLUB CARDS) or by direct online payment from your banking accounts (see the list below).

First let’s see about how to get through the registration. The site is ‘notorious’ for being slow, not allowing registration etc etc. But apart from being a bit slow at some peak load times (remember this is a site handles 1.3 million plus enquiries a day!)

The registration explained here is for a simple Internet booking using credit card (that’s not with the mobile phone booking)

You need the following information handy while filling the registration form.



(Mandatory details are marked with *)

1. First name *
2. Middle name
3. Last name *
4. Gender * (select from list)
5. Marital Status * (select from list)
6. Date of birth * (select from list)
7. Occupation * (select from list)
8. Email ID *

9. Shipping Address preference * (Residence/Office) (select from list)


Residential Address
10. Address *
11. City * (select from list)
12. State * (select from list)
13. Pin/Zip *
14. Country * (select from list)

15. Passport Number (Other than Indian citizens)
16. Phone / Mobile *


Office Address

17. Designation/Department
18. Address *
19. City * (select from list)
20. Pin/Zip *
21. Country * (select from list)

22. Phone *
23. Extension
24. Fax


25. Username * (Max 10 Chars)
26. Password *


If you forgot your password, we would identify you with this information

27. Security Question * (select from list)
28. Your Answer



Obviously most of the details asked for are straightforward. Still a few more points needs to be remembered to make it easier & successful.

The address area is the one where you may find some trouble. First of all please remember that you need a paper ticket printed out by the railways to travel by the train. The ticket you booked online is send to your address by courier. And the agency (irctc) doesn’t send the tickets abroad.

So whatever the (foreign) address your are entering here are practically for the official record purpose & NOT for sending your ticket to this address. But if the address you enter here are the Indian ones, you can chose to get your tickets delivered to this address.

One more additional point to note is that, each time you actually book your ticket you are given an option to enter the delivery address. This need not have to be the address you have entered during the registration.

In short don’t worry so much about the address you enter during the registration process. You can keep entering new ‘Indian Addresses’ as and when you are on the move. The most convenient ‘Indian Address’ for the ticket delivery is the Hotel where you would be staying on your arrival in India. More of it is discussed at the other threads on online booking.

The usual trouble point is item number 13 & 20 in the above list. Indian PIN Codes (Postal Index Number) is a 6-digit code. For example the PIN Code of PAHARGANJ, New Delhi is 110055. So try a six-digit number when you fill this field!


Tip 1
The site login expires in 20 minutes (if inactive). So be fast on site by keeping all the details handy.

Tip 2
The site works from 4 AM to 11.30 PM (Indian time) .
Indian Time = London Time + 5:30 hours.

Tip 3
Always use a 6 digit PIN/Zip

Tip 4
You can choose a ticket delivery address each time you book online.

Tip 5
Keep an Indian delivery address handy (with the correct PIN Code) when you book the ticket.

Tip 6…..

Tip 7……

Tip 8……

( Experienced IM’rs please add more tips !!!! )

List of payment gateways for ticket booking.

1. ICICI 3 monthly installments scheme
2. Gateway No.1 (Operated by ICICI Bank)
3. Gateway No.2 (Operated by Citibank)
4. Citibank 3 monthly instalment Scheme
5. American Express Bank Payment Gateway
6. ICICI Bank Direct Debit
7. HDFC Bank Direct Debit
8. IDBI Bank Direct Debit
9. Citibank Debit card
10. Bank Of Punjab Direct Debit
11. Oriental Bank Of Commerce Direct Debit (At select branches of OBC)
12. UTI Bank Direct Debit
13. State Bank of India Direct Debit
14. Centurion Bank Direct Debit
15. Punjab National Bank Direct Debit
16. ABN Amro Bank Direct Debit
17. Corporation Bank Direct Debit
18. Federal Bank Direct Debit
19. Syndicate Bank Direct Debit
20. ITZ Cash Direct Debit
21. Union Bank Of India
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#2 Nov 25th, 2005, 03:51
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  • indiamike is offline
#2
Excellant informative post as usual Beach.

Another piece of advice is if you have a 'pop up blocker' on your computer to make sure and turn it on. The india railway site is like a bollywood site and it's impossible to find your way around all the adverts popping up and under.
#3 Nov 25th, 2005, 04:13
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  • cyberhippie is offline
#3
Nice one Beach everything you'll ever needed to know about the online booking sytem!!

Mike with Xp and SP2 employed the pop ups are all shoved to the background.
It is an impressive array of pop ups though, on a ASDL connection it's like a like a storm of graphics and OS sound effects

Hey Beach can I steal it for my website
#4 Nov 25th, 2005, 05:07
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  • Casey is offline
#4
If you get a notice that your credit card was unable to go through, you may be billed but you will then receive the credit to your account. It took a few days for my credit card to accurately reflect the charges but it all worked out.
#5 Nov 25th, 2005, 06:31
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  • SHIMLA is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by beach Tip 2
The site works from 4 AM to 11.30 PM (Indian time) .
Indian Time = London Time + 5:30 hours.[/COLOR]
Please note that on the "Opening Day" of reservation, ie. on the earliest advance reservation day(60 days before the date of journey, for most trains), the internet booking will commence from 8.00 a.m. IST, so as to co-incide with the booking window timings and not present an unfair advantage to those booking over the net.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#6 Nov 27th, 2005, 13:10
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  • beach is offline
#6

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberhippie Nice one Beach everything you'll ever needed to know about the online booking sytem!!

Mike with Xp and SP2 employed the pop ups are all shoved to the background.
It is an impressive array of pop ups though, on a ASDL connection it's like a like a storm of graphics and OS sound effects

Hey Beach can I steal it for my website
ok steal it, but do it secretly
#7 Nov 28th, 2005, 21:56
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  • Nick-H is offline
#7
Quote:
Indian Time = London Time + 5:30 hours.
Just a tiny quibble if I may:
true in the winter, but not in the summer as London has Daylight Saving (Loosely and foolishly described in the Uk as 'British Summer Time' ).

IST = GMT + 5hrs 30mins
#8 Dec 2nd, 2005, 20:25
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  • LindaK is offline
#8
A significant change has been made to the registration process. It is no longer possible to put a non-Indian address as your home (or office) address. If you try that, the system will do nothing (no error message, no response). You must put in a valid Indian address, so before you start, get the full address and phone number of the place you want your tickets to be delivered to. The address you put in during your registration is the address that your tickets will be delivered to. (If you want to change the address, you can always change your profile before purchasing a ticket.)

From another thread, I have copied these instructions to use if you want to pick up your tickets at the New Delhi office:

Kindly note that you can avail the facility of special NRI personal
>collection of tickets, which presently is available at New Delhi Only. The
>collection center is located at:
>
>IRCTC Limited
>New Delhi Reservation Office,
>IRCA Buildings, Chelmsford Road, New Delhi 110055.
>Collection hours: Mondays to Sundays: 24 hours
>
>for this you need to give the above address while booking as your
>delivery address.We retain your ticket in our office.
Last edited by LindaK; Dec 3rd, 2005 at 05:22..
#9 Jan 6th, 2006, 04:18
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  • rimi is offline
#9

Problems on the site booking e-tickets

I have tried for two days to book my e-ticket and I consistently get communication failures. Is this typical? I've tried at all different times in order to avoid high volume problems, but I still get 'unable to retreive due to communication error' each time I try and book. Is the site just down now or something?
#10 Jan 6th, 2006, 04:57
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  • rangss is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rimi I have tried for two days to book my e-ticket and I consistently get communication failures. Is this typical? I've tried at all different times in order to avoid high volume problems, but I still get 'unable to retreive due to communication error' each time I try and book. Is the site just down now or something?
This is typical...

this from the IR website http://www.indianrail.gov.in:

"The online PNR and seat availability queries are fetched from the computerized reservation applications, which are open to public from 08:00 hrs. IST to 20:00 hrs IST on weekdays and from 0800 hrs IST to 1400 hrs IST on SUNDAYS. These online reservation applications are shut down daily around 2300 hrs IST and booted around 0500 IST hrs on weekdays. On SUNDAYS the shutdown is done earlier.

Due to the dynamic changes taking place in the PNR status updation and the availability positions, these two types of queries have to be fetched from the online reservation applications, hence the non- availability of them after certain timings. The sheer size of these databases does not allow them to be copied over network lines.



"... for the PNR and seat availability queries, the result is fetched from the computerized reservation applications at the five sites, viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad. If there is any network link failure, or if the network lines are very congested, then this error message is displayed. It might so happen, that you are getting seat availability and PNR information for say trains originating from New Delhi and Kolkata, but not for trains originating from Mumbai."


Did you know that IR's ticketing is done on the batch-processing mode in the EDP centre in HQs, using COBOL programs. By 2010 this mammoth network will effect a complete migration from the existing batch processing flat file environment to on-line RDBMS & then to KM and CRM .
...and I took the road less travelled.
#11 Jan 10th, 2006, 13:55
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  • chaoyi is offline
#11

same problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by rimi I have tried for two days to book my e-ticket and I consistently get communication failures. Is this typical? I've tried at all different times in order to avoid high volume problems, but I still get 'unable to retreive due to communication error' each time I try and book. Is the site just down now or something?
hi rimi
Did you slove the problem? I try to book my train from Jodhpur to Agra and had same problem. When I use Failed Payments try to pay again, there is no response with bottom "BUY". Don't know what to do now...
#12 Jan 25th, 2006, 19:11
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  • HowieUK is offline
#12

Registered ok using UK address!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaK A significant change has been made to the registration process. It is no longer possible to put a non-Indian address as your home (or office) address. If you try that, the system will do nothing (no error message, no response). You must put in a valid Indian address, so before you start, get the full address and phone number of the place you want your tickets to be delivered to. The address you put in during your registration is the address that your tickets will be delivered to. (If you want to change the address, you can always change your profile before purchasing a ticket.)
I didn't read Lindak's post before completing the registration this morning so I used my UK address with an Indian postcode ( I got the Indian postcode from a hotel address that I'm considering staying at!) for both the home and office address. It worked fine and registered me ok! I suppose the fun will come when I attempt to book the actual tickets At least I have 6 months practice on the site before needing to book any!!

Howie
#13 Feb 8th, 2006, 23:47
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  • aterciopelada is offline
#13

Online Payment Gateways

An update to post #1 re. the payment gateways for online booking: Gateway #2 (Citibank) no longer appears to be an option. The only choice for VISA/MC payment is Gateway #1.

Unfortunately, Gateway 1 doesn't work for me, and judging from posts on the "booking Indian rail tickets from abroad" thread, this has also been the case for many others. It sounds like the Citibank gateway had been working for people, but alas ...

As others have reported, I get a failure message when I attempt to submit payment:

"We regret that the booking of your ticket could not be processed at this time as the transaction with ref. No. 0006208940 was not authorised by your bankers. The details of this transaction will be available on the 'Failed Payments' page in your account with www.irctc.co.in. The failure may also be due to some sort of inadequacies in your card / bank account. You may kindly retry the booking from the link on the 'Failed Payments' page or try using another valid card / account."

And again, as others have reported, when I (kindly) attempt to resubmit via the "failed payments" page, the "Buy" button doesn't work (ie, I click and click but nothing happens: no clicky noise, no evidence that a new page is loading ...).
#14 Feb 10th, 2006, 07:25
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  • aterciopelada is offline
#14

Success!

I was finally able to book an e-ticket today! As described in my post above, I had been trying to buy via Gateway 1 (ICICI Bank, currently the only option for MasterCard/VISA), but it had been rejecting my purchase attempts. I had tried unsuccesfully with each of my two MasterCards, but today I gave it a shot with my VISA check card and it worked. I guess their credit card authorization system is fickle? My advice to others with the same problem would be to try another card.
#15 Feb 23rd, 2006, 22:47
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  • lowis is offline
#15
Well I just managed to make two bookings using thew IRCTC site, choosing the Citibank gateway option. I have had one email confirming one of the bookings but nothing confirming the other. However when I track the bookings on the IRCTC site both state they are confirmed. I guess I did it!!! Yay!
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