Foreign Tourist Quota (Old Thread)

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#1 Nov 5th, 2009, 23:02
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  • LVA is offline
#1
Hi

I am an NRI based in Toronto. I plan on visiting India this December.

Can I book train tickets on a foreign touirst quota? If yes - how do I go about that. Can I do it myslef online before I leave for India or do I have to use an agent. If I am to use an agent can anyone recommend one in Bombay .

Could someone let me know.

Thanks

Mod note : The up to date thread on FTQ is here http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...guide-t192751/
Last edited by Dave W; Oct 12th, 2014 at 19:59.. Reason: Link to up to date thread added
#2 Nov 5th, 2009, 23:06
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#2
a) What kind of visa do you have? You're only supposed to buy foreign tourist quota if you are on a tourist visa. I have always had this enforced, though I'm sure some people have gotten away with it.

b) You can't book it online. You have to take the passport to the train station and show your visa. If multiple people are booking, one person can take all the passport, so it's possible an agent can do this. I don't know.

There are several threads at the bottom of the page regarding how to book foreign tourist quote & traveling on FTA. You might look at those.
#3 Nov 5th, 2009, 23:20
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#3
The four passengers have Canadian Passports. Three of us have OCI ( Overseas Citizens of India ) and one has a tourist visa.

Can we still book on Foreign Tourist Quota ?
#4 Nov 5th, 2009, 23:36
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#4
No, you can't buy foreign tourist quota unless you have a tourist visa. They are generally pretty strict about it.

Are you sure the train you want is full? Tourists can buy any class of ticket. FTQ is just for last minute booking, if it's full, as a courtesy to tourists.

Maybe if you ask about a specific train/route, someone can advise on what is available or what options you have?
#5 Nov 5th, 2009, 23:59
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The foreign tourist quota can't be booked from abroad.

I'm not aware of any requirement to have a tourist visa; what you do need to be is a foreigner, hence the requirement to show your passport. (If I'm not mistaken, an OCI -- Overseas Citizen of India, to others -- will still be a foreigner, is that not correct? If they aren't, they won't be able to use it, indeed.)

You then have to pay for your ticket either in foreign currency (at whatever their rate of the day is. I assume it will be close to the official bank rates; note you'll get the change back in Rupees), or in Rupees, providing either a bank exchange certificate (the slip you're handed when exchanging money at a bank), or an ATM slip these days, to show you have in fact been exchanging money.

(It is true that in the past I found neither would sometimes be asked for, but earlier this year I found it always was whenever I wanted to use it.)

As noted, just because you're a foreigner doesn't mean you have to use the quota; just try the regular (known as "general") quota first. You can use the foreign quota if all else is full; these are some seats reserved for foreign tourists on just some trains on just some routes; contrary to popular belief, it's not a fool-proof solution: If that quota itself is full, it is indeed full, and so it will likewise not get you a seat. And as noted, it doesn't exist on all trains or routes.

I can't help you to railways agents in India, sorry; the Indian Railways have some official agents in a few foreign countries, I'm not aware Canada is one of them. They are listed on this page, not sure how up-to-date it is: http://www.indianrail.gov.in/intert.html.

You can book your own tickets online at http://www.irctc.co.in/. For a how-to, see here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...-guide-t70754/ and here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...ooking-t17981/. The IRCTC site itself should provide some decent manuals I think, btw.

Failing that, if you know and want to book all your train rides ahead, you can go to the Railways computerized reservations counter in your city of landing (they may have a tourist counter to make things even easier on you; where there are several railway stations, you'll have to figure out which one hosts them. Just ask at your hotel or any station, I guess, or a travel guidebook may tell you) & try and book all your rides in one go there (you don't need to be at any of the relevant stations to book for an entirely different stretch. What it does take is for that station to have a computerized reservations counter; save for the most minor ones, most will have one.) Availability always provided, of course; trains can book out weeks ahead these days.
#6 Nov 6th, 2009, 00:10
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#6
Try www.cleartrip.com they are most helpful and very professional.
#7 Nov 6th, 2009, 01:00
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#7
Mod Note:
This thread has been shifted to the "Indian Railways" forum.
#8 Nov 6th, 2009, 20:42
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#8
Thanks for all the replies.

I have bookings on the Konkan Kanya Train #0111 (Bombay to Goa) for the 27th Dec night. But am waitlistedWL#- 30, 31, 32, 33.

And am wailisted on the return (Goa to Bombay) on the 2nd of Jan WL #s 20, 21, 22 and 23.

These numbers do not seem to be coming down and I have to travel and hence was trying to book on the foreign tourist quota.

Does any one know what my chances of gettign confirmed seats are with these WL#s ?.
#9 Nov 6th, 2009, 20:57
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I'm not a regular on the trains, our experts will be able to tell you if you have any need to worry about those particular trains on those dates --- but I wouldn't give much thought to it for three weeks. Start worrying if they don't move in December!
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#10 Nov 7th, 2009, 21:16
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#10
Ditto on what Nick says. They usually start dropping about 2 weeks before as that's when people start cancelling their tickets.

And machaindia may have had a different experience than I had, but for me the railway official always checked the visa itself. I have had other students friends rejected for FTQ because they are on student visas.

In fact, in Bangalore on official looked at my visa and said, "What are you going to be doing in Shimla?"

"Um... visiting friends (I had friends there) and seeing Shimla."

He shook his head. "No, madame. You can't have foreign tourist quota. It is only for touristing. You can't do anything but touristing."

Finally the fellow in the other window rolled his eyes and motioned me over to his desk to give me the tourist quota ticket (still checking my tourist visa).
Last edited by *jyoti*; Nov 7th, 2009 at 21:18.. Reason: addition.
#11 Nov 7th, 2009, 21:24
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post I'm not aware of any requirement to have a tourist visa; what you do need to be is a foreigner, hence the requirement to show your passport. (If I'm not mistaken, an OCI -- Overseas Citizen of India, to others -- will still be a foreigner, is that not correct? If they aren't, they won't be able to use it, indeed.)
I believe this is correct. NRIs typically fall under foreign quota, though it's confusing because for certain other things e.g. education, there is a separate quota for NRIs.

Anyway, as Mach said, as long as you hold a non-Indian passport, you are a foreigner, and come under that quota as far as rail travel is concerned. At least that's how it's always played out for me.

For the 3 members in your party with OCI, it will be treated just like a tourist visa. Course with OCI, you will need to make sure there is a U-visa sticker on the current Canadian passport.
#12 Nov 7th, 2009, 23:31
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#12
Shall stop worrying about the tickets from Mumbai to Goa. Will look into it once in India ( which will be three weeks before I need to travel to Goa)

Thanks for all your insights on the subject. Greatly appreciate it.
#13 Nov 9th, 2009, 14:44
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I wouldn't give much thought to it for three weeks. Start worrying if they don't move in December!
Quote:
Originally Posted by *jyoti* View Post Ditto on what Nick says. They usually start dropping about 2 weeks before as that's when people start cancelling their tickets.
Hm, yes, not quite though in this case.

The observation is true in general that the way these waitlists work, they'll often start really moving only at the last minute. (There's nothing to stop anyone including you from getting a bunch of tickets on different trains in the hope of getting a seat, then cancelling what you don't need later and up till very close to departure at very little cost. Well, to others, there's a limit of ten tickets a month I think.)

The poster however is talking Mumbai-Goa and back over the peak of the Christmas holidays and New Year's, i.e., the high high season and on one of the most popular of routes (and to Indian holidaymakers as well, if not more so). These trains tend to book out way in advance; a few were recently said to do so the minute booking opened (so 90 days ahead).

I'm not one of those who can make an informed judgement on waitlist chances, but I wouldn't generally hold your hopes up on these trains. You can post the question again here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...e-only-t91500/, if anyone can make a guess, the people answering there will.

Kindly remember people there will need to know your train class as well, or there's nothing to say about the waitlist. Seats allotted naturally vary per class, and how many they can accommodate to begin with; and they'll depend on boarding station.

So what's needed is what train, from where to where, what date, what class, and what waitlist number.

An outfit like http://www.cleartrip.com/ which was mentioned above might indeed resolve your trouble; my understanding is their fees are really just nominal (provided they can get a hold of any seats of course, I don't think they have much more leeway there than individuals; but they'll naturally do an automated and full-on search for you and so maybe come up with stuff you yourself can't easily get at).
#14 Nov 9th, 2009, 14:52
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#14
Some time back Steven did a great post indicating that FT quota tickets were far less common than assumed..
#15 Nov 9th, 2009, 15:09
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVA View Post Thanks for all the replies.

I have bookings on the Konkan Kanya Train #0111 (Bombay to Goa) for the 27th Dec night. But am waitlistedWL#- 30, 31, 32, 33.

And am wailisted on the return (Goa to Bombay) on the 2nd of Jan WL #s 20, 21, 22 and 23.

These numbers do not seem to be coming down and I have to travel and hence was trying to book on the foreign tourist quota.

Does any one know what my chances of gettign confirmed seats are with these WL#s ?.
Dear LVA
most likely U R tiket will get conform if it is in generala quota, there is a system of taykal booking. two days prior to the departure of the specific train aprox 25 % of the seats are reserved for this. once U r in mumbai Ucan try this but through some smart agents the booking of this Quota get over within NO time , I mean 8am itself
traveling to suthern partof india In dec and summer holidays are very difficult
have good luck
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