Understanding Reservation Forms.

#1 Oct 27th, 2004, 23:32
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  • steven_ber is offline
#1
Also see Train fares thread.


Reservation forms.

Those lovely scraps of paper specially made for people who can write their whole address on the back of a stamp.

You need to complete a reservation form and take it to a reservation office/counter to get tickets and reservations on a train.

Reservation forms are produced by all 17 regional railways in India, they vary slightly, though the basic layout is still the same, all reservation forms can be used in any part of India.

The reservation forms can be difficult to understand when you first see one, and I've yet to find much useful info on the Internet regarding them.

They are available at all reservation offices and many ticket offices, you can also download reservation forms from the Indian Railways website. (Click the arrow under 'Helpful Links', and then click on 'Reservation Forms'.)

There are 2 types that you can download, the original form and the pre-filled form, I have scanned both. (Though the forms should be only about 24 cm x 15cm)

Original reservation form.

Pre-filled reservation form.


I edited the original form for those of us with normal size handwriting, I also enlarged it for clarity, if you print the form, it should be no longer than 24cm.



* In my experience you get a better quality print if you first ‘save’ to your computer, then print direct from there.
______________________________ ______________________


I will try to explain each section on the reservation form, if I get any of it wrong or any member can think of anything useful to add, please reply to this thread.


.............................R ailways.

There are 17 regional railways zones in India,

http://www.irfca.org/photos/Layouts/...map_new?full=1

You should not have a problem if you leave this section blank, I don’t think booking clerks will expect tourists to know which railway zone their money should be going to.


Doctor....................

Doctors should only tick this section if they are prepared to help if needed, there is no discount on fares available unless you are an ‘Allopathic’ Doctor and have a copy of the registration certificate issued by the Indian Medical Council, then you will get a 10% reduction in the fare.


Senior Citizen…………………

Men & Women aged 60 and above get a 30% reduction in basic fare on all Mail/Express & Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains; the 30% discount only applies to basic fare, not the total fare, - there is no discount available on reservation charge, Superfast charge, or safety charge.

If you want the Senior Citizen discount, you have to write the word YES in the box.

A passport is ideal for proof of age, though this would also need to be carried on trains as you will be asked to prove your age and penalised if you can't.

I believe this is the only concession extended to foreigners.


Train name and number....................

This section (along with the ‘Date of journey’) needs extra care to avoid any mistakes.

You can get the train name/number from the ‘Trains at a Glance’ timetable, it is available at most large train stations in India, you can see it on the internet at this website.

There is not a lot of space on the reservation form for the train name & number, some of the train names can be long, so the following may help.

If a train is called ‘Ahmedabad – Howrah Express’ and you will be travelling towards Howrah, just put ‘Howrah Exp.’ (train number 8033)

So you would write – 8033, Howrah Exp.

If a train has a particular name, for example ‘Lokmanya Tilak (Mumbai) – Trivandrum, Netravati Express’, just put ‘ Netravati Exp.’ (train number 6345)

So you would write - 6345, Netravati Exp.


It’s the train number that the reservation clerk enters into the computer; the train name is just to confirm that you haven’t made a mistake.


Date of journey....................


You Must use the British style Day, Month, Year, example 21/09/04 and not the American style Month before Day.

Be careful with the date if you're taking a train that departs after midnight, say you want to depart Jaipur on thursday and travel overnight to arrive in Bikaner on Friday, there is a train that departs jaipur at 00:15 and arrives in Bikaner at 08:30, you would have to fridays date for the train as it departs after midnight.

(It is always the departure time used for the date of journey)

Date of journey should be easy, and it is if your getting a train that is ‘daily’ and has the same train number every day, thankfully most train’s fall into this category.

It becomes difficult when you want a train that only runs once a week and the whole journey lasts 2 or 3 days.

The Himsagar Express departs Jammu Tawi once a week and gets to Kanyakumari over 4 days later, the route of the train stretches over many timetables.

Lets say you wanted to take this train from Delhi to Nagpur, you find the timetable for trains between Delhi and Nagpur, you look at the Himsagar Express, at the top of the timetable, it shows that the train departs from its originating station (Jammu) on Mondays, looking at the bottom of the timetable will tell you that the train arrives at it’s destination station (Kanyakumari) on Fridays.

You would need to follow the train’s route carefully to find out that the train actually departs Delhi on Tuesdays and gets to Nagpur on Wednesdays.

Unless your totally confident with timetables, ignore trains that are not Daily.


Class................

Classes of travel on Indian trains.

* The abbreviations on the left (1A, 2A etc.) are the ones used in the ‘all India’ ‘Trains at a Glance’ timetable, I have always used these on reservation forms and have never had a problem, write the abbreviation of the class in which you want to travel, next to the word ‘Class’ on the reservation form.

1A = First Class air-conditioned (AC1)
2A = 2 Tier air-conditioned (AC2)
3A = 3 Tier air-conditioned (AC3)
FC = First Class NOT air-conditioned
EC = Executive chair class, air-conditioned
CC = Chair class, air-conditioned
SL = Sleeper Class, NOT air-conditioned
2S = Bookable second class seat, NOT air-conditioned
II = Unreserved 2nd class, NOT air-conditioned

Detailed information including photos of the above classes of accommodation

Knowing the Indian Train. An excellent thread by beach explaining all you need to know about Indian trains and the different classes of accommodation.


Number of Berths/Seats ..............

This refers to the number of paying customers (maximum 6) Children below the age of 5 are not to be added to this section.

Children aged 5 – 11 travel at half the adult fare (paying the full reservation charge), 12 years and above pay full adult fares.

* See also ‘Children below 5 years’ further down this post.


Station from/to………

&

Boarding at - Reservation up to……..

This is the part that used to confuse the hell out of me, you can ask three railway officials about it and receive 3 different answers.

If you are just doing a single journey, for example – Jaipur to Udaipur, Station from would be Jaipur, To – Udaipur, Boarding at – Jaipur, Reservation up to – Udaipur.

I believe the Station from/to refers to the train ticket, and the Boarding at - Reservation up to refers to the reservation, it makes sense when your using the 'Break of Journey' rules.


If your going from Delhi to Howrah (Calcutta) and breaking your journey at Mughalsarai (for Varanasi) for a couple of days, the Station from/to section would be for the ticket and would be Station From Delhi - To Howrah, but you would be Boarding at Delhi with a Reservation up to Mughalsarai.

In the ’Onward/return journey details’ section further down the reservation form, you would put the details of the second train, then Station From – Mughalsarai, To – Howrah.

Using the ‘break of journey’ rules in this example would cost Rs 1836 for the 2 trains (in 2A), single tickets would have cost Rs 2442, a saving of Rs 606.

The 'Pre-filled reservation form' has been completed to show this journey.

Quote:
I have half-completed a couple of reservation forms to show how to book a journey involving 2 breaks, in the following example the person wants to travel from New Jalpaiguri to Jaipur with breaks at Varanasi and Agra.

To do this, they would need to complete 2 reservation forms as follows: -

1st. form, 2nd. form.

The cost if you bought single tickets in 2AC = Rs 2857

The cost if you bought a ticket from New Jalpaiguri to Jaipur, and used the 'break of journey' rules would be Rs 1877.

This section can also be used to book a train from one town and then board it in another town, this can be useful if the quota from your station has already been used, but there are still berths available from the previous town the train stopped at.

For example, If you are travelling from Hampi to Bangalore, you may find that there is a waitlist from Hospet (closest station to Hampi), but there are still berths available from Gadag, to book this way, do the following.

Station from Gadag, To – Bangalore, Boarding at – Hospet, Reservation up to – Bangalore.

You MUST put Hospet in the Boarding at section, otherwise the train conductor will assume you have cancelled your trip and give your berth to someone with an RAC (Reserved Against Cancellation) ticket.

You will have to pay the fare from Gadag to Bangalore.


Name…….

To be completed in CAPITALS, if you have a long name just use the initial of your first name.


Sex…….

This part must be completed, just write a M or an F.

Female passengers travelling alone may ask for the ladies quota, which is
available on certain trains (usually a compartment of 6 in Sleeper class). it
simply ensures that you're co-passengers are ladies.


Age…….

This part must be completed, if your Male and 60 years old or above, or female and 45 years old or above, have a look at the ‘Choice’ section below.


Concessions/Travel Authority No…….

This section is only relevant to tourists if they are using a Circular Journey Ticket or an Indrail Pass.


Choice if any…….

Choices of seats/berths are subject to availability, the earlier you book the more chance you have of getting your preferred choice.

Men 60 years old or above, and Women 45 years old or above are automatically given lower berths (subject to availability) even if they have not requested them.

Forward/rear facing is not an option, some trains change directions, though it is intentional you’ll be pleased to know.

I find that I get my preferred choice about 50% of the time, though I normally book trains only a few days before departure.

On the reservation form there is only the choice of lower or upper berths, I always try for a side berth, I don’t know if I should be trying for a side berth or not, but you don’t get if you don’t try, use the following abbreviations in this section.

LB = Lower Berth
MB = Middle Berth
UB = Upper Berth
SLB = Side Lower Berth
SUB = Side Upper Berth


Southern Railway's timetable has some very good diagrams showing where particular seats/berths are on trains, most trains these days are broad gauge.


Seat layout for Broad Gauge trains (1).
EDIT- The seat layout for SL class in the above link is wrong, seats 1 and 3 should be swapped (making 1 a window seat), the same with seats 4 and 6 (4 should be a window seat), this should be repeated for each compartment in the carriage, making seats 1, 4, 9, 12, 17, 20, 25, 28, 33, 36, 41, 44, 49, 52, 57, 60, 65 and 68 all window seats (and lower berths)

In fact, the saet layout for ALL the diagrams are wrong, seat number 1 will always be a window seat, and all the seat numbers need to be adjusted accordingly.

The thread below has the correct layout for Sleeper Class.

Sleeper Class details & photos.


Seat layout for Broad Gauge trains (2).

For overnight journeys the seats turn into berths, to see if a particular seat number converts to an upper, middle, lower, side upper or side lower berth, click on the following link.

Berth layout for Broad Gauge trains.

There are still some Metre Gauge trains, particularly in Tamil Nadu and North East India, as well as other areas.

Seat layout for Metre Gauge trains.

Berth layout for Metre Gauge trains.


Children below 5 years (for whom a ticket is not to be issued)

Children below 5 years old travel free, however, there details MUST be added to this section of the reservation form.

No seat/berth is provided for children who travel free.

If your child is below 5, it may be a good idea to carry something that would prove their age.



Onward/Return Journey Details

This section is for details of a second train (see the Station From/To section further up the page)

Take extra care with the date in this section.

You can book a return journey on the same reservation form using this section, but you will be charged for 2 single journeys and will get no discount.


Name of applicant.................

Name of the person who will be holding the ticket on the train, (person in line 1 of the ‘name, sex, age’ section, NOT the name of a representative who may be buying the tickets on your behalf.



Full Address................. and Telephone No.................

Take care to put the correct Address & Telephone number, sometimes around festival times Indian Railways officials check the validity of the passengers at random, contacting them at the address / phone number given, this is to try to stop touts booking loads of reservations.


Indian Railways has some terrible delays and cancellations caused by fog in the winter and by floods in the monsoon, I don’t know if Indian Railways tries to contact ticket holders when trains are cancelled, if they do, they will need the correct details.


Signature of the Applicant/Representative................ .

If you buy the tickets yourself, you have to sign this section, if you send someone else to buy the tickets; they have to sign this section.

The signature should be above the ‘Date & Time’ sections.


Date................

Is for the date you are handing in the reservation form and not for the date of travel.

Time................

Is for the time you are handing in the reservation form and not for the train departure time.

Indian Railways use the 24-hour clock.



______________________________ ______________________


A few tips: -

ALWAYS pick up a bunch of reservation forms whenever you see any, you never know when you (or someone you meet) will need them.


Fill in the reservation form in your hotel room, it’s amazing how much simpler it seems when your in a quiet place.

Find alternative trains for your route in case you can’t get reservations for your preferred train; write down on a separate sheet of paper the train number/name of all alternatives.

Fill in a second reservation form with all details except train number/name and date of journey; in case you can’t get reservations for your preferred train/day, it will then be easy to add details of a new train AT THE RESERVATION WINDOW should you need to.

Always be polite to the reservation clerk, he has a very hard job and sometimes gets a lot of hassle from irate customers, a smile will get them on your side and it's amazing how helpful they can be, particularly when you can’t get your chosen reservation.

If you don’t get the seat/berth of your choice, have a look at the ‘final reservation chart’ next to the door of your carriage, check the names of your fellow travellers, you may find that there are a few members of the same family travelling together, they may not have seats/berths next to each other, it may be worth offering to swap if it gets you your preferred seat/berth, it worked for me once.

Computerised reservation offices are open from: -

Monday – Saturday 08:00 – 14:00 and 14:15 – 20:00.
Sundays - 08:00 – 14:00 only.

Though individual windows do close for ‘lunch’, timings vary, though it’s normally just as you get to the front of the queue.

They are open every day of the year, including National holidays.


And finally

After you have read all of the above, you would think that Steven_ber would have no trouble buying a ticket, think again.

I was in Delhi in April and agreed to get some tickets for some Belgium women, I worked everything out, all connections, great timings, went to the right queue and was at the window about 30 minutes later, only to be told by the reservation clerk that I had the wrong day for a connection….

India always wins.


Just to add...

A reservation form is also a cancellation form.

You simply complete the form giving all details of the cancelled journey, and hand it over with the train ticket to be cancelled; you will then receive a 'cancellation ticket', (see attachment below).

A separate 'cancellation' form is needed for each ticket being cancelled.

You only need to complete one cancellation form per ticket, even if 2 or more people are on the original ticket.

I have cancelled tickets without filling in a cancellation form, not all reservation staff asks for the form, but if you get to the front of the queue and they ask for one, you may have to queue up again.

Train information.



.
Attached Images
Cancellation-ticket.jpg 
Last edited by steven_ber; Jan 11th, 2008 at 00:55.. Reason: add more info
#2 Nov 7th, 2004, 22:03
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  • Krishnika is offline
#2
Regarding the choice of berth, is it possible to request actual seat numbers on this form? I know it makes no sense if you reserve only a few days ahead of time, but if I reserve with the 60 day advance, it seems like there is a good chance. I'm interested in this so as to get an FC coupe for a night train instead of ending up in a 4 berth compartment. I also remember reading somewhere on this forum that it is better to avoid the seats near the doors and toilets when traveling SL - how would you request this on the form?
#3 Nov 8th, 2004, 08:03
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  • SHIMLA is offline
#3
Krishnika,

You cannot demand seat nos., you can only opt for lower/uper/side berths and window seats.

Regarding FC reservation, you can always request for a "coupe", instead of a "cabin".
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#4 Nov 8th, 2004, 09:23
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#4
re: Train number and name.

I've never put the train name in, just the number, and everything worked out well so far. (As long as I write the number down correctly)
#5 Nov 16th, 2004, 10:47
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  • slonik is offline
#5
Thanks so much for such detailed advice!
Just to clarify (sorry, being a bit dumb today) - can I print off the reservation form from the Indian Railways website, fill it in and take it to the station to book the tickets?
Or do I have to go to the station and pick up a form from there (and the ones on the website are just there as a guide)?
#6 Nov 16th, 2004, 12:08
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by slonik - can I print off the reservation form from the Indian Railways website, fill it in and take it to the station to book the tickets?
Yes, you certainly can.
#7 May 7th, 2005, 16:28
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#7
Dear Shimla,
Just for your info. There is a COACH CHOICE Option too, however, subject to availability.
-------
For example, 4 of your friends have Berths in S-4 Coach and you want to join them. While presenting the Reservation Form, you can also indicate your Coach Choice. But this request will be acceded to subject to availability.
#8 May 7th, 2005, 16:44
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  • steven_ber is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsp27759 Dear Shimla,
Just for your info. There is a COACH CHOICE Option too, however, subject to availability.
-------
For example, 4 of your friends have Berths in S-4 Coach and you want to join them. While presenting the Reservation Form, you can also indicate your Coach Choice. But this request will be acceded to subject to availability.
Can you give us the full list of coach codes (example S-4 = SL-4).

I've seen so many different versions over the years.

Also, do you think the 'changed' reservation form (shown at the top of this thread) would be accepted by booking clerks?
#9 May 7th, 2005, 17:12
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#9
Dear Steven,
SL means SLEEPER, that is, the Category of the Coach.
---
whereas
----
S-4, the number denoted to the Sleeper Coach for identification by the passengers who have been allotted Berths in that particular Coach (***don't get confused with the 5-digit Number painted on the Coach which is written at the time of manufacture)
#10 May 7th, 2005, 18:47
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#10
Thanks for the detailed reply, I already understood that, maybe I worded my question in a poor way.


Are the following correct?

HA1, HA2... - AC 1st Class (1A)
A1, A2... - AC 2 Tier (2A)
H1, H2..- 1st Class (FC)
AS1, AS2....- AC 3 Tier (3A)
EC1, EC2....-AC Executive Chair Car (ECC)
CC1, CC2...- AC Chair Car (CC)
S1, S2,....-Sleeper Class/2 Sitting (SL/2S)
GEN...General (II)

Is there any missing?
#11 May 7th, 2005, 19:09
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#11
Dear Steven,
Your observation:-
HA1, HA2... - AC 1st Class (1A)(****1A is for Reservation Purpose)
----------
@@@It is the combination of I AC & II AC
============================== ===========
A1, A2... - AC 2 Tier (2A)
-----------
@@Correct.
=============================
H1, H2..- 1st Class (FC)
----------
@@@H1, H2 is for I AC but F1 is for I Class.
================
AS1, AS2....- AC 3 Tier (3A)
-------
@@@Correct.
================
EC1, EC2....-AC Executive Chair Car (ECC)
------
@@@It should be correct, since I have never seen EC Coaches!!!!!
===============
CC1, CC2...- AC Chair Car (CC)
--------
@@@It is C1, C2,
=================
For SL & IIS, the numbering will be S-1, S-2 .......
#12 May 7th, 2005, 20:24
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#12
I think an explanation is needed on my part.

I do understand all the different ways that a particular class can be quoted (1A, AC1 etc.), but a tourist will just get confused.

In TAAG and on the Indian Railways website 1A, 2A, FC. etc. are used, TAAG and the Indian Railways website are the only things a tourist is likely to come into contact with when researching their holiday.

So I always use 1A, 2A, FC, etc. and I always put them terms (in brackets) after I explain a particular class, e.g. - 2 tier air con (2A). I hope that by using these terms all the time, our members dont get confused.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vsp27759 Dear Steven,
Your observation:-
HA1, HA2... - AC 1st Class (1A)(****1A is for Reservation Purpose)
----------
@@@It is the combination of I AC & II AC
============================== ===========
A1, A2... - AC 2 Tier (2A)
-----------
@@Correct.
=============================
H1, H2..- 1st Class (FC)
----------
@@@H1, H2 is for I AC but F1 is for I Class.
================
AS1, AS2....- AC 3 Tier (3A)
-------
@@@Correct.
================
EC1, EC2....-AC Executive Chair Car (ECC)
------
@@@It should be correct, since I have never seen EC Coaches!!!!!
===============
CC1, CC2...- AC Chair Car (CC)
--------
@@@It is C1, C2,
=================
For SL & IIS, the numbering will be S-1, S-2 .......
I'm more confused than ever.

So H1 & HA1 can be used for 1A.

HA1 = 1A
HA2 = 2A (I thought it meant a 2nd 1A carriage)

So would a 2nd 1A carriage be HA1-2, and a 3rd be HA1-3?
#13 May 7th, 2005, 23:08
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#13
Dear Steven,
Your observation:-
""HA1 = 1A
HA2 = 2A (I thought it meant a 2nd 1A carriage)""
----------
@@@Take it for granted if there is HA1, there won't be H1
and
If there is H1, there won't be HA1
-------
To the best of my knowledge, you may be finding H2 only in Rajadhani Expresses but not in any other trains, however, prestigious it might be.
=========
Meanwhile,I will try to locate the trains which have more than one IAC Coaches. I hope I will get the answer in IRFCA.
#14 Nov 14th, 2006, 23:05
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  • Abi is offline
#14
Can I book train tickets online from outside India in advance?
#15 Nov 14th, 2006, 23:13
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  • Abi is offline
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Erm. Ok. Just found link for reserving tickets online. Sorry. But so confusing. Eek! Ok.
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