A diesel locomotive hauling a passenger train through a railway station in India. Also Read - Lockdown: IRCTC Suspends Bookings For Its 3 Trains Till April 30, Passengers to Get Full Refund

Planning a vacation soon? Or are you thinking of traveling back home for the holidays? Well, trains are the best way to get there, but with a 90-day booking window it is not at all uncommon to find train tickets booked a month or two before the intended journey. Thankfully, Indian Railways has a Tatkal service to book tickets at the last minute. We’ve covered the basic steps of booking Tatkal tickets online, but here is a more detailed look at the rules and timings of the scheme. ALSO READ: 9 Signs you absolutely love travelling by trains in India! Also Read - Only Patients, Students and People With Disabilities to Get Railway Concessions for Bookings as of Now

Since its introduction in 1997, the Tatkal service has gone through some changes. For instance, the window for booking Tatkal tickets has fallen to just a day before the date of the journey. But the rush of booking tickets remains the same. Tatkal tickets get sold out within minutes of the window opening even to this day. Bookings for all AC class tickets open up at 10 am, while non-AC class tickets go up an hour later at 11 am. Here are some other rules of the Tatkal scheme. Also Read - Need Of The Hour! Indian Railways Develops Wash Basin That Operates Without Touching

1. The tickets can be procured either from over the counter or by logging onto IRCTC website-www.irctc.co.in.

2. No duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued. Duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued only in exceptional cases on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges.

3. It will be possible to book a maximum of only four passengers per PNR for Tatkal tickets.

4. No concessions are allowed in ticket booking, and no refund is granted when cancelling confirmed tickets.

5. You cannot get a refund if your waiting-list or RAC Tatkal ticket gets confirmed at any time up to the preparation of the final passenger chart.

6. You can cancel your waiting-list or RAC Tatkal ticket for a refund at any time up to 30 minutes before your scheduled departure. If wait listed Tatkal tickets do not get confirmed or RAC, they automatically get cancelled and the passenger gets refund.

7. In case you want to claim a refund for a train that is cancelled or more than three hours late, you need to file a Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) with the reason stated.

8. If you have booked tickets for two or more passengers and not everyone has been confirmed, you can cancel everyone’s tickets, including the confirmed ones, for a refund up to 30 minutes before the departure.

9. With ePayLater or Pay-on-Delivery, you can book your Tatkal tickets without paying money right then. Pay-on-Delivery lets you pay for the ticket once you get it, and ePayLater gives you a 14-day window. However, this facility comes with an additional small charge of 3.50 per cent

10. A word of caution; the ePayLater option requires you to register first. So complete the registration process before the Tatkal window opens. It can save you time, and time is crucial in getting your tickets booked.

11. The facility of change of name is not permitted on the bookings made under Tatkal scheme.

NOW READ: Online Tatkal Railway Tickets On IRCTC Website Now Have Pay On Delivery Option

You can book your Tatkal tickets on the IRCTC website, and the ePayLater system that was earlier reserved for non-Tatkal tickets is also available for the Tatkal scheme now. With this system, you can pay for your ticket up to 14 days after you book it.