Please can someone clarify IRCTC/Cleartrip online booking times?

#1 Aug 29th, 2012, 09:03
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#1
I've read a lot of the 'how to' posts but I can't see this info clearly set out.

Between 05:30-08:00 India time today I have tried to book online with Cleartrip, it says there were 6 seats left, to get the 'We're sorry, but something went wrong" message.

Now, at 08:00, I tried to book and got, "IRCTC Service not available between (8:00 AM to 12 noon IST)".

By 12:00 these seats will clearly have gone. What are you supposed to do, as a foreigner? If the system isn't available from 08:00 then why wouldn't it let me through from 05:30?

I live in Japan and I thought the bureaucracy here was the worst in the world but now I'm starting to think India may be just as bad!
#2 Aug 29th, 2012, 10:28
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#2
The Indian Railway booking servers work between 00.30 to 23.30 everyday. So there is a hour break there.

There are basically 2 ways in which you can book: Online on any of the websites ;like IRCTC or Cleartrip, and then physically at a Railway Counter. There are restrictions on Online reservations between 08.00 to 12.00 noon. There are no restrictions on the bookings at the counter other than that one should be present there.

08.00 everyday is when opening day bookings (120 days in advance) start and hence these are not available on Cleartrip till 12.00 noon. Tatkal bookings (1 day before) open at 10.00 and these are not available online till 12.00.

These two times (08.00 and 10.00) are also when a huge number of people try to login and book and the servers and other inftrastructure can't take the load. Hence a lot of issues come up during these periods.

As a Foreigner, you have an option that is not available to us locals. You have some seats reserved in some classes under a Foreign Torist Quota or FTQ that is generally available till a few days before departure. However this is not on all trains, but is available on most trains that a tourist is likely to take.
#3 Aug 29th, 2012, 12:14
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#3
blueyama

If you have an American Express card you can book directly with the irctc site. This means that you will not be subject to the Agent restric tion between 08.00 and 12.00 IST. Amex is the only card that they accept from outside India.
The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.

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#4 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:17
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#4
Thanks guys, sadly I don't have an AmEx card...

...So I've been hitting refresh on my computer since 12.00 Indian time (over 2 hours now), have finally got through to the payment screen on about six times now, only to be told that the "Train is no longer available" after I type in my payment details, even though on erail it clearly states there are seats available.

What a joke.
#5 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:18
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#5
Which train are you trying to book? The whole system has been very slow this morning. It took me ages to get a booking through on IRCTC.
#6 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:34
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#6
The Kerala express from Agra Cantt to TVC, 2 pax in 2AC. I'm booking for Dec 27 which I know is very busy but still.... It's very frustrating to get so near and yet so far!

Edit, Between 5.30am-8.00am it said there were six seats left, from 12pm its been saying there are four seats left... So clearly other people are managing to buy tickets... Yet apparently it's no longer available for little old me!
#7 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:44
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#7
I just tried the same booking that you want twice. First time I entered the passenger names and clicked book. After a couple minutes I got a message saying server response too slow. Second time I got to the credit card entry page almost immediately. Keep trying.

ADDITIONAL - Have we asked which browser you are using yet? People regularly report problems with Internet Explorer that disappear when they switch to Firefox or Chrome.
#8 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post I just tried the same booking that you want twice. First time I entered the passenger names and clicked book. After a couple minutes I got a message saying server response too slow. Second time I got to the credit card entry page almost immediately. Keep trying.
Yes, I have got to the CC entry page too, a few times, but immediately after entering the card details and pressing submit, I get an "Oops!" message, saying the train isn't available any more. Very frustrating as I hate it when technology doesn't work! Thanks for checking for me, I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
#9 Aug 29th, 2012, 15:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyama View Post Yes, I have got to the CC entry page too, a few times, but immediately after entering the card details and pressing submit, I get an "Oops!" message, saying the train isn't available any more. Very frustrating as I hate it when technology doesn't work! Thanks for checking for me, I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
Did you see my additional above? It was crossposted with you.
#10 Aug 29th, 2012, 16:18
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Ah, no I didn't, and I am using Firefox!
#11 Aug 29th, 2012, 16:19
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#11
I have been trying since sometime,and unable to even login. So its some server or bandwidth issue at their end. I am getting this: Connection refused: www.irctc.co.in:80
#12 Aug 29th, 2012, 16:38
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#12
Oooh I think it's worked!!!!
#13 Aug 29th, 2012, 16:56
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyama View Post Oooh I think it's worked!!!!
Congratulations. Have a great trip.
#14 Aug 31st, 2012, 18:27
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#14
Is the IRCTC website open seven days a week at the same times ?
#15 Aug 31st, 2012, 18:39
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Yes. it is

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