Newbie: I-Ticket v. E-Ticket [RAC?]

#1 Feb 15th, 2008, 20:48
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  • ronzesty is offline
#1
Hello all. Just registered to IndiaMike and it is a fantastic resource!!!

Like many threads I have read, I can foresee a problem with booking my rail journeys on IRCTC with my Visa card. I have registered but have yet to try booking, seeing that I am outside of the 3month timeframe [leaving for Delhi on May 21st]

If I find a way around the booking problem, then my question is this: If I book with I-Ticket rather than E-Ticket, am I guaranteed a sleeping berth/seat on the train? From what I can grasp about E-Tickets and their relationship with RACs, there is the possibility that you will not get a berth [which may make for an uncomfortable trip from Varanasi to New Jailpaguri.

Should I just try to open a Citibank account? The website on IRCTC says they accept American Express. Should I use a friend's card? If I do that, will it make it problematic to pick up the tickets when I get to Delhi? Also, where in Delhi does one pickup these prebooked I-tickets?

Sorry for all the questions. I really appreciate this website and I am looking forward to my first trip to India.
#2 Feb 16th, 2008, 10:42
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  • steven_ber is offline
#2
You shouldn't need to open a citibank account, what card do you already have? (it should be OK)

I-Ticket or E-Ticket, it doesn't matter what option you choose, the availability/RAC/Waitlist will be the same, an RAC ticket is always better than a waitlisted ticket.

I-tickets can't be picked up anywhere in Delhi (or anywhere else), it has been this way for a long time now, they can only be sent to an address in India (A hotel for example).

You have to be quick when booking on this route, maybe the best timed train is the North-East Express, but it only allows a few berths to be sold for the Mughal Sarai-New Jalpaiguri sector.

2A - 4
3A - 5 (maybe 6)
SL - 46

I wouldn't want a waitlisted ticket on this sector, maybe up to WL/04 in Sleeper Class, maybe.
#3 Feb 16th, 2008, 23:32
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  • ronzesty is offline
#3
I have a Visa Check card as well as a Visa Credit card. Fingers-crossed one of those two will do the trick.

I will certainly be looking at the clock 90 days before the tickets become valid. Hopefully I will strike the lottery and get the two tickets I need for that route [for me and my travelmate]

From what I gather E-tickets are the way to go. I'll certainly aim for that. If the tickets from Varanasi to New Jalaipaguri are so limited would you recommend a different overnight route, or perhaps a layover somewhere? I was contemplating the layover anyway, seeing as the toytrain from New Jalaipaguri to Darjeeling leaves promptly at 9am and I've heard many stories that the delays on the overnight train to Jalaipaguri may make us arrive to late to make the train anyway.

First time traveling to India, so we have a month. The plan [in my head so far] is:

Month of May to month of June

21,22,23 in Delhi
24 day train to Agra
24 night train to Varanasi
25, 26, 27 in Varanasi
27 night train to New Jalaipaguri [possibly spending time somewhere between varanasi and Jalaipaguri if anyone has any suggestions]
27 or 28 to Darjeeling
28,29,30 Darjeeling
31 night train to Kolkata
1,2,3 Kolkata
After the 3rd of June it becomes anyones' guess. Attempting to go to Mumbai and making our way through Udaiper, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer before returning to Delhi for a return flight on the 19th of June


I know this isn't the itinerary forum, but I like writing down this dream trip as much as possible. Thanks for the info Steven. Your reputation on this forum is certainly legendary, and as I can see well deserved.

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