Recently, most of the catering services of irctc have been given to Indian Railways, leaving it with catering on some select routes and trains. IRCTC provides the following services to the passengers.
The IRCTC issues the E-tickets and I-tickets for train travel. E-tickets refer to Electronic tickets which are delivered to you through email right into computer and you are required to take a print of the same and produce an ID proof along with it. You can book e-tickets till the time of preparation of the charts. Since chart preparation is done 4-6 hours before the departure of train, you can book not later that this time period.
However, the I-tickets, also called the internet-tickets, are booked online but these are delivered to your home. You do have to carry a valid ID proof along with. Earlier, carrying ID proof for I-tickets was exempted. IRCTC online booking for I-tickets can be done at least two days in advance of the date of travel.
The cancellation of the e-tickets is done online and cannot be done over the counter. However, cancellation of the I-tickets can be done by going to any reservation office.
IRCTC Tatkal booking
Booking of the IRCTC Tatkal tickets can be done for all classes of travel except for the AC 1 Class. These can be booked one day in advance of the date of journey and there are premium charges to be paid subject to certain minimum and maximum charges per class of travel. Only E-tickets are allowed to be booked under Tatkal scheme since there is no time to deliver the I-tickets to the homes of people.
IRCTC Online Reservation for Flights, Hotels and Tour Packages
IRCTC online booking system provides the facility to book the tickets of not only the trains but also cabs, flights and hotels. Over a period of time, IRCTC has evolved to a more tourism oriented entity which facilitates multi-modal transportation and meets the accommodation needs of the travelers. Further, IRCTC online reservation can also be done for different theme-based tour packages aimed at showcasing the tourism havens to foreigners coming to India.
Facilities for Foreign Tourists
IRCTC also has special quota for tourists on some trains for the foreign travelers. Usually, there are special bogies reserved on select trains for the tourists. Also, there are International Tourist Bureaus for tourists at select stations which can be used for doing IRCTC booking in specified foreign currency denominations and for assisting tourists by preparing itineraries and providing trained guides who can speak foreign language. Also, there are special Indrail Passes of one year validity which allow tourist to tour to any place of India on any train without having to pay for the IRCTC online reservation each time.