Tourist quota tickets

#1 Apr 29th, 2010, 13:06
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#1
Hi all,

Have been reading up all the treads on train travel and trying to book in advance for Calcutta to Varanasi on the 3005 overnighter.

I want to do this for 25th or 26th May but most are heavily waitlisted.

Do I understand it correctly that the tourist quota tickets become available 48hrs before train departure?

Does anyone have any experience with just winging it and waiting for these tickets to come on sale? Or is that pretty unreliable?

Cheers
Phil
#2 Apr 29th, 2010, 21:00
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#2
Are you thinking of Tatkal? I always got mine earlier. Our train guru Steven may weigh in on this. His analysis indicated indicated tourist quota allocation was relatively limited and not available at minor stations or for all trains.
Cheers..
#3 Apr 29th, 2010, 21:27
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#3
Yes tourist tickets are available more than 48 hours before the journey. But they come with restrictions as mentioned above.
#4 Apr 30th, 2010, 00:21
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherNZer View Post Calcutta to Varanasi on the 3005 overnighter.

I want to do this for 25th or 26th May but most are heavily waitlisted.

Do I understand it correctly that the tourist quota tickets become available 48hrs before train departure?
Tatkal tickets become available 48 hours before the trip but Tatkal tickets are not available for every trip, and even if they are, if the journey is heavily waitlisted already, it will be extremely difficult to get a Tatkal ticket. People often start queueing for Tatkal tickets many hours before the counter opens!

Tourist quota tickets are available more than 48 hours in advance (I'm not sure how long in advance) BUT you cannot book a tourist quota ticket online!

What you can do is try and book a general quota ticket online, see how it develops as you get nearer to your trip, and as soon as you arrive in India you can try and buy a tourist quota ticket - if available for the trip in question (find out from the Indian Rail website) and if still available. (And then cancel the general quota ticket.)

I myself have often got a tourist quota ticket on the day of travel itself but it all depends on the day and route.
#5 Apr 30th, 2010, 13:58
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Hmmmmm thanks for the input guys.....since I don't really have a plan/itinerary for India I guess my train booking is going to be painfull. I just prefer to go at my own leisure and not be set in stone with dates or places to be.

Might just be easier for me to get it through an agency in each city I am in and just deal with it if I can't get a seat/sleeping berth.

Have actually managed to book a ticket though from Kolkata to Varanasi on the 3005 in 2ac and am down as "waitlist 8".
What confuses me is that when checking the PNR number it says the chart hasn't been prepared yet and from what I understand the chart won't be prepared till 4 hrs before train departure so to me, that is severly winging it anyway.

Can anyone verify if this is correct about the pnr charts etc....or am I being a complete knucklehead :-)
#6 Apr 30th, 2010, 13:59
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Or is there a certain amount of waitlist seats that pretty much always get a seat allocation...like waitlist 20 and under?
#7 Apr 30th, 2010, 14:14
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherNZer View Post Or is there a certain amount of waitlist seats that pretty much always get a seat allocation...like waitlist 20 and under?
No.

See also here to get some idea of how impossible it is to say anything about it just like that: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...e-only-t91500/.

I think you've gotten the idea already, but despite some people's perception (mostly those who don't know what they're talking about, if you ask me), that Foreigner Quota idea is way overrated: Yes, it may offer a solution. It's limited to just certain trains on certain (popular) routes though, and when it's full, it is also full, just like the general or any other quotas; in practice, it's rarely done me any good.

It can never hurt asking about though.
#8 Apr 30th, 2010, 14:20
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nb

Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherNZer View Post Have actually managed to book a ticket though from Kolkata to Varanasi on the 3005 in 2ac and am down as "waitlist 8".
What confuses me is that when checking the PNR number it says the chart hasn't been prepared yet and from what I understand the chart won't be prepared till 4 hrs before train departure so to me, that is severly winging it anyway.
I don't know too much about the higher classes, but in the higher ones the final chart gets prepared just shortly before departure. I think this is what you're looking at. (The idea is probably that they want to accommodate their passengers as best they can, so i.e., who goes where, in terms of couples traveling and such. It would otherwise seem something of a major inconvenience, no? Witness recurring questions such as your good self's.)

It shouldn't stop you from checking online to see how your waitlist status is going though. Once confirmed, you just won't know your exact seat until shortly before boarding. It will nonetheless be confirmed, i.e., you have a seat (once it is confirmed).

Don't fret too much if the waitlist doesn't move for a long time, the system works so that things only really get moving shortly before departure (since there's little penalty on cancelling just shortly before).

WL8 doesn't sound bad to me, but it really depends on what stretch and what class. I'm not one of those who can say what your chances are. That other thread I pointed to above is where people in the know may have a go at it. If you feed them the right data. I.e., what train, what class, what date, from where to where.
#9 Apr 30th, 2010, 15:54
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Thanks Machadinha,

Them's the breaks when you want to travel on a whim and no real plan.....it's all good, I will get to where I want to go when I get there and when I know where that is...

Will check out your recommended link though.
#10 Apr 30th, 2010, 16:35
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post despite some people's perception (mostly those who don't know what they're talking about, if you ask me), that Foreigner Quota idea is way overrated: Yes, it may offer a solution. It's limited to just certain trains on certain (popular) routes though, and when it's full, it is also full, just like the general or any other quotas
I have on several occasions been able to get (as a last resort) a tourist quota ticket when my previously booked general quota ticket was still very high on the WL, on the day before travel or the travel date itself (and confirmation was most unlikely) - e.g. last January travelling from Kolkata to Puri and a week later back from Puri to Kolkata.

Two years ago I was trying to travel from Mumbai to Mapusa/Goa around Dec.31st - trains were fully booked for days, it was impossible to get a general quota ticket but I did get a tourist quota ticket!

But, as you say, tourist quota tickets are not available for every train.
#11 May 1st, 2010, 00:04
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherNZer View Post Or is there a certain amount of waitlist seats that pretty much always get a seat allocation...like waitlist 20 and under?
It's never as simple as that.

Do an availability search for 85 days ahead, the 6 numbers showing should give you an idea of how many berths are used in that class for that sector.

Sleeper Class may have 500 berths, but many times 2-tier air can can have as few as 2 berths, so waitlist 20 would never get confirmed.

Then there are the RAC seats.....

There's too much to explain, look at the RAC & Waitlist thread below.
.
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread, even if you are not in India.: Have you seen Jonathan Spollen?

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#12 May 1st, 2010, 00:26
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherNZer View Post Them's the breaks when you want to travel on a whim and no real plan.....it's all good, I will get to where I want to go when I get there and when I know where that is...
On traveling by train "on the fly," see also my thoughts here and onwards: Help with planning a route in Rajasthan.[cry].

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildhorse View Post I have on several occasions been able to get (as a last resort) a tourist quota ticket ... e.g. last January travelling from Kolkata to Puri and a week later back from Puri to Kolkata.

Two years ago I was trying to travel from Mumbai to Mapusa/Goa around Dec.31st ... I did get a tourist quota ticket!

But, as you say, tourist quota tickets are not available for every train.
On that last route and that period, you must have gotten extremely lucky

But it will work best (or only) on certain main stretches yes, so e.g. your Kolkata-Puri. And, as noted, it can never hurt to ask about it.

But step aside from those main lines, and it just isn't an option. Also, those Foreign Quota seats will (like all the other quotas) get distributed over stations along the route according to their significance I guess, so again step on anywhere else than such a major station, and again it probably won't be an option, or much less so.

That RAC & Waitlists thread by Steve is really excellent yes, it's in his signature, in case you have trouble figuring out what he means by "below."

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