Earlier it was a tedious chore to book ticket. A person had to stand in long queues for long hours to make advance reservation. But now Indian Railways is going hi tech, giving way to online reservation.
Online reservation is the easiest and reliable mode of booking tickets sitting at home. You just need to have access to a computer and hold a debit or a credit card. The most popular site for online booking is www.irctc.co.in. This is a very popular site among all Indians and even foreigners who book tickets online for their visit to India. This site provides all sorts of information related the train number, fares, rules, days of departure of a particular train, the route of the train as well as availability of reserved accommodation. You can even check the status of your wait-listed or RAC ticket on this website by just entering your PNR number.
To book an online ticket, just fill in the necessary data on the first page displayed on the website. Fill in the details regarding the originating station, destination, date of journey, class of accommodation and number of passenger. Once when you fill the complete details the system ask for payment. You can either use the debit card accepted by the Indian Railway website for direct transaction from your bank account or you can even use a credit card for payment.
Today many Sify Iway cyber cafes are opened in various cities to book tickets for those who don’t have a credit card or a net connection at home. These cafes book your tickets for a cash payment. IRCTC have also joined with Federal Bank enabling customers to book tickets online using Fed Net principle. The customers of this bank have the privilege of booking tickets from anywhere in India and abroad by just debiting the federal bank account. These tickets are delivered without any additional charges.
When you make an online booking there are two types of tickets that are available, E-Ticket or I-Ticket. E- Tickets are tickets that appear on the screen after reservation and you just need to take a print out of the ticket with the appropriate identity proof. The other type of ticket is I-Ticket. These tickets are booked few days prior to the date of journey and are only for people in India. Foreigners cannot book these tickets as these are sent to the Indian address mentioned in the form. A nominal courier fee is charged against the ticket.
The only drawback of online reservation is some additional charges. When you book an online ticket, in addition to the actual fare of the journey you have to pay the reservation charges, service charge and the bank transfer fee of credit card interest. The total of the additional charges comes out to be nearly about Rs 100 to Rs 150. in this fast moving world people prefer paying these additional charges and avoid the hassles of standing in long queues for hours.