Why is it so complicated to buy a train ticket...

#1 Mar 8th, 2009, 22:22
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  • greenstua is offline
#1
from overseas???
I am pulling my hair out here-it just seems that the IRCTC are doing everything in their power to put obstacles in the way.
I want to buy a return ticket from Goa to Mumbai ang get it delivered to the place I have booked in Palolem but the website tells me that the person signing for the tickets must "produce an authority letter from the registered user permitting them to recieve the ticket, along with the PNR number of the ticket and their personal identification" Now bearing in mind that the guy at the beach hut I am staying at will not return any of my e-mails after he got his money I am not too confident the tickets will be waiting for me when I get there.
Is there any way I could just print the tickets off from their website or would that be just to simple a solution?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated before I go slowly mad!!!
#2 Mar 8th, 2009, 22:27
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  • Hal is offline
#2
You can print out the e-ticket they issue you and take it with you.
They also keep a copy of the e-ticket online in your account so you can access it at any computer with Internet access.
#3 Mar 8th, 2009, 22:34
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstua View Post Is there any way I could just print the tickets off from their website or would that be just to simple a solution?
Well, it sounds as if you can.

Quote:
Any tips would be greatly appreciated before I go slowly mad!!!
Yeah, here's a tip. Before you arrive, get used to the idea that nothing about India is going to be easy or convenient and there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it!
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#4 Mar 8th, 2009, 22:56
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstua View Post ... Is there any way I could just print the tickets off from their website or would that be just to simple a solution?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated before I go slowly mad!!!
Not for nothing do I sometimes refer to that site as a putrid heap of stinking doggy dung --- but please, take some time to find out what is and is not available before going for the rant! Of course you can print your tickets out, and that is what most of us do these days. You just have to pay careful attention to whether you are buying an e-ticket or an i-ticket: use the site help, I always forget which is which . And no, it doesn't matter where in the world you do the printing

Right... now that is sorted out, and assuming that you don't need to get into the arcane subject of availability and waitlists, you can book your tickets, and continue on to the section of the site where you pay for them.

That is where the real fun starts, and the real rants get unleashed!

You will be presented with a choice of payment gateways, most of which are for directly charging an account at a variety of Indian banks, and some of which will accept international credit cards. Your move .

When I was last there with an international card, I seem to remember that there is an Axis Bank gateway that processes visa. That was a while ago; there is, doubtless, more up-to-date information on this site.

Keep at it! Don't give up! Do come back with more questions if you get stuck --- but there is such a huge amount of Indian-train info on the site, so don't mind if you get asked to look for the answers in other threads.
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#5 Mar 8th, 2009, 23:08
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  • RPG is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstua View Post from overseas???
I am pulling my hair out here-it just seems that the IRCTC are doing everything in their power to put obstacles in the way.
If you will read the instructions, and also many posts on this site, you'll see that what you want is an "e-ticket" and not an "i-ticket".

What you are trying to buy, the i-ticket, is intended for people who do not have printers, or who for some reason insist on a physical ticket printed by the railways. (These may be the same people who use travelers' checks rather than ATM cards.) If you choose an i-ticket, you are putting obstacles in your own way, and you should not blame the railways.

And also, take Haylo's warning to heart. You're traveling to India, not to (say) Germany.
#6 Mar 9th, 2009, 01:53
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  • edwardseco is offline
#6
Lastly take a hint from an expert (not me) and use erail.in..
#7 Mar 9th, 2009, 01:59
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#7
Perhaps it's changed since I bought my train tickets on-line in 2006 but I was absolutely unable to get an e-ticket & had to go with the i-ticket, which I also had to organize being delivered to the guesthouse we stayed at.

It was a huge pain in the neck & ultimately we got put on standby and had to go in person to the train station & stand in line (line? India? ) to FINALLY get the ticket from Delhi to Pushkar.

GOOD LUCK!!
#8 Mar 9th, 2009, 02:18
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  • skk is offline
#8
I dunno - its not that difficult; I came to it for the first time in Aug/Sep 2008 and I booked several journeys, hmmm about a dozen of them, quite successfully. I used the e-ticket option, printing it off, quite succesfully so I just carried around a piece of paper that documented the journey.

I've documented some of my experiences in this forum.

I used the erail.in website to work out which trains to catch, only going to irctc to actually book the tickets. I've pondered why I found the website not too difficult to work it - my conclusion is that you just have imagine that the UI was done by a good programmer, not an UI engineer - clearly they haven't read the classic book on UI ( "About Face 2.0" ) - once you put yourself in that mental frame ( or if you start there already ), then everything goes tickety-boo ! TICKETy-boo - geddit ? O never mind.

Haylo's advice should be taken to heart of course. Its an essential starting point.

Still, enjoy India.

-skk
#9 Mar 9th, 2009, 02:39
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  • steven_ber is offline
#9
Here's a great thread explaining some of the complications of booking tickets online, it's really worth reading through.

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...advice-t65903/
#10 Mar 9th, 2009, 03:18
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  • nycank is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstua View Post from overseas???
I am pulling my hair out here-it just seems that the IRCTC are doing everything in their power to put obstacles in the way.
I want to buy a return ticket from Goa to Mumbai ang get it delivered to the place I have booked in Palolem but the website tells me that the person signing for the tickets must "produce an authority letter from the registered user permitting them to recieve the ticket, along with the PNR number of the ticket and their personal identification" Now bearing in mind that the guy at the beach hut I am staying at will not return any of my e-mails after he got his money I am not too confident the tickets will be waiting for me when I get there.
Is there any way I could just print the tickets off from their website or would that be just to simple a solution?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated before I go slowly mad!!!
I dunno what seems to be the problem. I first registered for free on www.irctc.co.in, then used my account to book tickets (always e-ticket) on their website.

Instead of printing the e-ticket immediately; I save it as a .PDF and have a copy on my jump-drive.

As I mentioned elsewhere, the Indian railways accepts Amex, which works fine for me
#11 Mar 9th, 2009, 03:27
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  • OceanTragic is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post Here's a great thread explaining some of the complications of booking tickets online, it's really worth reading through.
I'll second that.

It's all I read before managing to book four trains over three different classes, all from abroad and without ever having been to an Indian railway station.

The main tips are: get details for trains from erail.in (mentioned above), choose e-ticket (as mentioned above) and choose the AXIS bank for making a payment if you've got an international credit card.

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