Monday, November 05, 2012

Reading this may make your train journey easy.

Festive season and summer vacations, these were the times when doing reservations in trains used to be tough. But nowadays, all 365 days are the same. Getting a confirm berth is becoming like bringing a piece of meat back from a tiger’s mouth. In last 18 months I’ve travelled a lot. And in these 18 months I’ve been through a lot. So just want to share some tips and tricks which I’ve learnt the hard way. Reading this may make your journey a bit easy if not completely.

I won’t say that you should plan your journey at the earliest, because that isn’t possible. Courtesy - our lifestyle. So let’s assume, you want to go somewhere next week, after 10 days, that gives you 10 days to plan your journey. Now when you open your IRCTC account and try searching for a train, every train you see is full. Some are showing regret and some are showing the numbers that you know can’t get confirmed. But still you see a train which has the least number of waiting- maybe 7 or 8. So-

1. Chances of clearing of a waitlist number in AC 2 are least. Then AC3 is second and then Sleeper. It means, Sleeper waiting list has fair chances of getting cleared. Why? Because whenever the waitlist is full and the status is showing Regret, it means there are enough people in the waitlist who can fill 1 or 2 complete coach/ bogies of 72 seats each. So if the division which is running the train has extra sleeper coach (which they generally have), they will put in the train and your ticket can get confirmed. But usually they don’t have extra AC coaches. So chances of your ticket getting confirmed are quite rare in AC.

2. I didn’t say AC1 in the last point, because it’s better to take a flight than to travel in AC1. Charges of AC1 are quite equal to domestic flights if you make your reservations 30 days prior to the journey date.

3. There are many people who say they can get your ticket confirmed by putting it into VIP quota. They are just bluffs. It’s true that there’s something called VIP quota but that has a very small number of births in trains. So chances of getting your ticket confirmed by VIP quota are very rare (until and unless you know a VIP personally or you yourself are one LOL).

4. It just happened accidently. I was trying to get a ticket in Tatkal quota by logging in the IRCTC website at 10 in the morning. And if you’ve ever tried doing that, you would know how big pain in the butt that is. So I tried doing transactions 2 times. Money was getting debited from my account but the website kept saying “You’re session has expired”. I was so irritated and suddenly a friend of mine called from USA. And I asked her to open the website and to do all the steps. And to my amazement, everything was happening very fast. And she didn’t face any problem at all. Maybe it’s because the servers of our internet providers get coagulated with the requests for IRCTC. But if it’s really urgent, ask a friend living abroad to help you.

5. PQWL- Well this is a point which can boggle your mind. We all are acquaintance with GNWL (General Wait List). Generally if you buy a waiting ticket, it has got GNWL written on it. But there’s one more thing- PQWL (Pooled Quota Wait List). Understanding PQWL maybe a bit tricky. So read it carefully-
Suppose you want to travel from Bangalore to Nagpur and there is a new train 09308, Yashwantpur- Indore Special (YPR- INDB SPL). When you check on IRCTC, YPR to NGP, it shows 6 waitlist (It’s not specified there, GNWL/PQWL) in AC 2. You go ahead and book the ticket which is at waitlist 6. But then when you check the same train from YPR to INDB (INDB means Indore which is the destination of this train), there are 16 seats available. WHoaahhh !! Then what was that?? Just few minutes ago, it gave you waitlist 6 ticket and now there are 16 tickets available. How’s that possible.
Let me explain this to you- This train starts from Yashwantpur and goes to Indore. You were trying to book ticket from Yashwantpur to Nagpur. Nagpur is like somewhere in the midway. So, if you will get a confirmed ticket from Yashwantpur to Nagpur, who would pay for that seat after Nagpur all the way to Indore!! It would be the loss of railway. This diagram would explain it to you- 

The fair between YPR- NGP is 1800 and between YPR and INDB is 2500. So if you take a birth from YPR to NGP, you would pay 1800 Rs. But what if there’s nobody to sit on that birth after NGP !! So, instead of giving you the birth, railway put you in PQWL. Now there are 2 cases-
(A)-They wait for a person who is willing to go to Indore, because he will pay 2500 Rs.
(B)- If a person wants to go from Nagpur to Indore, then you both would be paying a sum of 2500 Rs and the seat would be acquired the whole way.
So, ultimately you can say that GNWL has higher priority than PQWL. And whenever you try to book a ticket and see waitlist, don’t forget to check the availability of the tickets till the destination. It may cost you more, but it’s far better than taking the pain of doing tatkal reservation and dealing with those agents.

6. Now if you’ve to travel and you don’t have reservation (or may be waiting in sleeper). Here’s what you can do-
S1, S3, S5, S7, S9, S11…..   The sleeper bogies, with odd extension, have 1 birth reserved for TC (Ticket checker). Birth number-7. You can ask the TC, and can get that seat. It depends on your convincing skills though ;). Especially, it really helps while coming to Multai from Bhopal or coming to Raipur from Nagpur.

#All of the above information is based on my experience and my knowledge. It’s up to the reader to understand it and follow it, if he wishes to. But if something goes different from what is stated above, I am not responsible for it. This is just my blog post.

Some questions this blog answers:

Reservation in AC1, AC2, AC3 and sleeper class?
What is waitlist?
What is PQWL?
What is GNWL?
What is VIP Quota?
Reservation problems in using IRCTC?

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to Ahemdabad from bangalore, will I get PQWL to confirmed? how fast they will confirm?